UCLA’s win over Kentucky vaults Bruins to No. 2 in the country

UCLA's win at Kentucky Saturday earned the Bruins a No. 2 ranking in the AP poll

UCLA’s win at Kentucky Saturday earned the Bruins a No. 2 ranking in the AP poll

UCLA was handsomely rewarded by the poll voters for its victory over Kentucky on Saturday in the program’s first game ever in historic Rupp Arena.

The Bruins moved up nine spots to No. 2 in the Associated Press poll, their first time in the top five since 2008. They are ranked only behind No. 1 Villanova, the defending national champions. Here is my story with more details about the historic rise in the polls.

Kentucky, which was No. 1 when UCLA defeated it, 97-92, dropped to No. 6 in he AP poll. Villanova received 57 of the 65 first-place votes, but UCLA earned two first-place votes. No. 3 Baylor, which began the season unranked, received the remaining six first-place votes.

Week 5 Associated Press men’s college basketball poll:
1. Villanova (57)
2. UCLA (2)
3. Kansas
4. Baylor (6)
5. Duke
6. Kentucky Continue reading

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UCLA coaches hit the recruiting trail

UCLA football coaches are hitting the recruiting trail hard without a bowl game to worry about this month. Several coaches paid in-home visits as well as hosted recruits for official visits in the past few days. Here are a few:

Martin Andrus Jr., Los Angeles High, DT

  • Four-star recruit according to Scout, three-star according to 247 Sports and Rivals
  • Has offers from several other Pac-12 schools, including Oregon and USC.

Tayler Katoa, Layton (Utah) High, Ath

  • Four-star recruit according to Scout, three-star according to 247 Sports and Rivals
  • One of the top recruits in Utah
  • Plays both quarterback and linebacker/defensive end, but projects mostly on defense
  • List of contenders includes Washington, USC, Boise State, Utah and BYU

DeAndre McNeal, Fullerton College, WR

  • A former Texas receiver, McNeal was suspended indefinitely by head coach Charlie Strong on Aug. 3, 2016 for an undisclosed violation of team rules
  • McNeal was a three- to four-star recruit in the class of 2015 out of Poteet (Texas) High and played in 10 games as a true freshman, but didn’t record a catch

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Men’s water polo prepares for NCAA seminfinal

Patrick Fellner leads the No. 2 UCLA men's water polo team in scoring as the Bruins chase a third-straight NCAA title. (Photo courtesy UCLA Athletics)

Patrick Fellner leads the No. 2 UCLA men’s water polo team in scoring as the Bruins chase a third-straight NCAA title. (Photo courtesy UCLA Athletics)

An NCAA-record 57-game winning streak won’t mean much for the UCLA men’s water polo team unless the Bruins can cap the year with their third-straight national championship.

No. 2 UCLA starts its NCAA run Saturday against Cal in the NCAA semifinals. The Bruins had an NCAA-record winning streak this year, but it was snapped by USC about three weeks ago. The Trojans then handed the Bruins two losses in as many weeks.

Despite losing two of its past three games heading into this weekend, UCLA is refocused for a chance at a three-peat.

You can watch UCLA’s semifinal match, which is scheduled for Saturday 5:12 p.m. PT at Cal, online here.

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No. 11 UCLA vs. No. 1 Kentucky: Will Lonzo Ball and TJ Leaf measure up?

After its schedule peaked last weekend with undistinguished Texas A&M and Nebraska teams, do we really know how good No. 11 UCLA is? We’ll have a lot better idea after Saturday’s spike in the Bruins’ slate.

The Bruins’ schedule is ranked 268th in the country, according to Ken Pomroy. That number will skyrocket after Saturday’s meeting with No. 1 Kentucky, a matchup that is fascinating on several fronts. For further detail, read my preview of UCLA’s biggest game of the young season.

First of all, it’s not out of the question for a win to conceivably vault UCLA to No. 1 in the nation. Aside from who wins, simply watching Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf measure themselves against not one, not two, not three, but four other elite freshmen is a rare opportunity.

While this will mark UCLA’s first-ever trip to Rupp Arena, these two teams have a recent history. This will be not just the third time they’ve played in three years, but the third time Kentucky has been the No. 1 team in the country when they’ve met. UCLA upset the Wildcats at Pauley Pavilion last season. But two years ago, Kentucky handed UCLA one of the most embarrassing defeats in the proud program’s history. How embarrassing? UCLA scored seven points in the first half.

On the statistical front, UCLA and Kentucky are two of the four highest-scoring teams in the country. There are only two teams in the nation that average less than Kentucky and UCLA’s 13.6 seconds per possession. You better not leave your seat, says Steve Alford. In other words, this game is going to be as entertaining as much for the talent – there are six 2016 McDonald’s All-Americans between the two teams – as it is for the breakneck pace of play. Continue reading

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Top ILB Anthony Hines III chooses Texas A&M over UCLA

Scout.com’s No. 1 inside linebacker in the country committed to Texas A&M on Friday, choosing the Aggies over UCLA. 

Anthony Hines III was also deciding between Florida State, TCU, UCLA, Ohio State and Penn State.

UCLA coaches visited the 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker from Plano East (Texas) High this week in a late recruiting push. Linebackers coach Scott White, defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and head coach Jim Mora went on the in-home visit.

The Bruins have 10 commits for the class of 2017, lead by five-star defensive end Jaelan Phillips and four-star defensive lineman Greg Rogers

 

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