UCLA links: Eddie Vanderdoes hang clean, Josh Rosen NFL.com rankings, UCLA Olympians

UCLA defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes looks ready to go. Coming off an ACL injury, he hit a 418-pound hang clean earlier this week. As teammate Jayon Brown said at Pac-12 Media Days, “big, bad Eddie” is back.

Catching up on other links:

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Jonah Bolden curiously departs UCLA basketball team to turn pro

UCLA junior Jonah Bolden has decided forego his final two years of college basketball eligibility and play professionally this coming season. Bolden informed the coaching staff of his decision to leave the school after one season, the UCLA athletic department announced Tuesday.

Where the 6-foot-10 Australian-born guard/forward will play professionally is uncertain, but a return to his home country seems an obvious possibility.

UCLA is now without three players that were expected to be on the roster this year not including guard Prince Ali, who isn’t likely to return from meniscus surgery by the start of the season. Three-star recruit Kobe Paras mysteriously withdrew from UCLA in June after academic conditions of his admission weren’t met. Junior Noah Allen transferred to Hawaii in May and now Bolden is departing what was expected to be a deep roster considering incoming talent labeled head coach Steve Alford’s best recruiting class. Continue reading

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UCLA basketball to open Pac-12 play against defending champs

The Pac-12 portion of the UCLA men’s basketball schedule was announced Tuesday morning and the first school listed was the last conference representative remaining in the 2016 NCAA tournament.

UCLA will travel to defending Pac-12 champion Oregon the opening week of conference play to take on a team that reached the Elite Eight last season with a group that returns six of the seven players in its balanced rotation.

Four of the Bruins’ first six conference games are on the road, but five of the final seven are at Pauley Pavilion.

Coming off a five-game stretch to close nonconference play that includes dates with Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio State UCLA will face each of the four Pac-12 teams that finished the regular season in the top 25 in the first four weeks of conference play. Cal pays a visit to Westwood the first week of January before the Bruins visit Arizona and return home to host Utah. Continue reading

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UCLA’s Ann Meyers Drysdale to help kids see first college basketball game

Ann Meyers Drysdale is extending her influence on UCLA basketball. Having been named Chair of Hoops for Youth, she’ll lead a program that enables underprivileged children who have likely never seen college basketball in person to attend UCLA basketball games.

Myers Drysdale, a member of the UCLA 1978 national championship team, went on to a prolific career as a broadcaster and member of the front office for the Phoenix Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. She was the first woman to receive a four-year athletic scholarship to UCLA.

“UCLA basketball is in my blood,” Meyers Drysdale said. “I know how magical it is to be part of the tradition of UCLA basketball and I want others to have the opportunity to experience that tradition first-hand as well.” Continue reading

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Former UCLA commit Kobe Paras picks Creighton

After leaving UCLA in June due to academics, Filipino shooting guard Kobe Paras will rebound at Creighton, he tweeted Sunday night.

Paras enrolled at UCLA as an incoming freshman, but was forced to withdraw during summer school after “academic conditions of his admission were not met,” the school said in a statement.

There was some controversy about why exactly Paras, who was an honors student and met all of the NCAA’s requirements, was denied admission. Cathedral High school’s principal told the L.A. Times “there was an SAT scoring issue,” but Paras’ father Benjie Paras and coach at Cathedral William Middlebrooks said they were shocked and surprised by the sudden denial of a full academic qualifier.

The 6-foot-6 shooting guard is well-regarded for his athleticism. He won the dunk contest at the 2013 and 2015 FIBA 3×3 Under-18 World Championships while competing for the Philippine national team.

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