Maurice Jones-Drew leads 2017 UCLA Hall of Fame Class

Maurice Jones-Drew (pictured in 2005) will be inducted into the UCLA Hall of Fame this year. (Photo by Stephen Dunn /Getty Images)

Three-time NFL Pro-Bowler Maurice Jones-Drew leads UCLA’s nine-member 2017 Hall of Fame Class, which was announced on Wednesday.

The group, which includes three Olympians and a combined 17 national championships, will be inducted into the UCLA Hall of Fame on Oct. 20 and honored during halftime of UCLA’s game against Oregon at the Rose Bowl on Oct. 21.

Jones-Drew left UCLA in 2005 with school records in career and single-season all-purpose yards, touchdowns in a game, single-game rushing yards and single-season punt returns for touchdowns. His punt return average of 28.5 yards in 2005 is still the NCAA record. During his NFL career, he rushed for 1,000-yards three times, including a league-leading 1,606 in 2011.

Other Hall of Fame inductees: Continue reading “Maurice Jones-Drew leads 2017 UCLA Hall of Fame Class” »

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Lonzo Ball confirms his mother suffered a stroke


Lonzo Ball said his mother Tina Ball suffered a stroke in late February, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

Ball learned of the stroke during a UCLA practice when he received a text message from a relative. His father, LaVar Ball, was upset with the relative because he was waiting to tell Lonzo about his mother’s condition in person that evening at his brothers’ basketball game.

Lonzo said he sees his mother four or five times a week and her condition is improving.

“She can’t really talk right now, but I mean, she definitely, she knows what we’re saying,” Lonzo said. “She smiles all the time, so that’s a good thing.”

LaVar Ball, 49, was attending to his wife at home and didn’t make the trip to Memphis, Tenn., for UCLA’s loss to Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament regional semifinal, Lonzo’s last collegiate game before declaring for the NBA draft.

LaVar wanted to keep news of the stroke from the public so things could stay quiet for his three sons as they finished basketball season. Continue reading “Lonzo Ball confirms his mother suffered a stroke” »

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Steve Alford will be different without Bryce Alford – perception or reality?

Steve Alford has coached four seasons at UCLA, but his next will be the first without his son on the team. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

By the end of last season, the perception of Steve Alford in Westwood seemed to be undergoing a change.

A 31-5 season, nearly half of which UCLA spent ranked among the top five in the country, reportedly netted him an offer to fill Indiana’s coaching vacancy. Despite Alford’s shortcomings – a losing season a year earlier and a disappointingly early end to last season – the prospect of losing him was more than a little unsettling, especially if it compromised the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class on its way to UCLA in the fall.

It will be nearly impossible not to view Alford differently next season. His son won’t be around to color the perception of the UCLA coach’s decisions.

How much did Steve Alford sacrifice on UCLA’s behalf for Bryce Alford? The debate is endless.

Continue reading “Steve Alford will be different without Bryce Alford – perception or reality?” »

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

UCLA basketball adds Cincinnati to schedule

UCLA will begin a home-and-home series against Cincinnati next season in an attempt to strengthen its schedule. (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)

The UCLA basketball team’s strength of schedule rated 74th in the country last season, per kenpom.com. It was the weakest of any Power 5 team in the final 2016-17 AP top 25.

The program is taking steps to avoid the same fate next season, officially announcing a home-and-home series with Cincinnati on Thursday. UCLA will host the Bearcats Dec. 16 next season and play at Cincinnati in 2018.

UCLA faced Cincinnati in the 2002 and 2017 NCAA tournaments, defeating the Bearcats, 79-67, in the second round last season. The only other two meetings between the programs took place in the 1960s.

“With Cincinnati, you’re talking about a program that has advanced to the last seven NCAA Tournaments and gave us all we could handle in that tournament last March,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “This will be a great matchup for college basketball fans in southern California, and I know that our players will be up for the challenge.”

The series is beneficial for both programs. Continue reading “UCLA basketball adds Cincinnati to schedule” »

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

How UCLA stacked up in the NCAA’s latest APR scores

The NCAA released its latest Academic Progress Rate (APR) numbers Wednesday and all of UCLA’s teams are well in the clear of any penalties while six teams earned APR Public Recognition awards for being in the top 10 percent of their sports.

The football team’s multi-year score of 971 is tied for sixth in the Pac-12. UCLA’s 2015-16 score of 973 improved 10 points from the previous year. Coach Jim Mora earns a total of $70,000 in incentives for the football team’s single-year APR score of 970 or higher, according to his contract.

The men’s basketball team’s multi-year score dipped 12 points after it scored a 907 for the 2015-16 season, by far the lowest for any UCLA team this year. UCLA’s 950 multi-year score is the second-lowest among Pac-12 men’s basketball teams, ahead of only Oregon State’s 945.

UCLA’s six teams that earned perfect multi-year scores: men’s tennis, men’s volleyball, women’s water polo, women’s golf, women’s cross country and women’s beach volleyball.

APR is a measure of academic retention and eligibility. Each scholarship athlete is awarded a point for returning to school and another for being academically eligible. The total for a team is divided by the possible points and multiplied by 1000. Teams must earn a four-year APR of 930 to compete in postseason play.

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page