Bryce Alford was the most athletically disadvantaged of UCLA’s eight rotation players last season. He was the weakest on defense. He had the most trouble driving to the basket – he shot 46 percent at the rim, 18 percent less than the closest UCLA player.
But the 6-foot-3, 185-pound guard may find his way onto an NBA roster because his strength is the fastest-rising commodity in the league. Alford shot 43 percent from 3-point range his last season at UCLA. And as far as volume is concerned, he set the school’s single-season and career record for 3-pointers, surpassing the marks of nine-year NBA veteran Jason Kapono.
Alford has been invited to his share of workouts approaching Thursday’s NBA draft, including by both the Lakers and Clippers, and the Pacers from his native Indiana.
Alford’s assessment of his chances to be one of the 60 draft picks? He is right on the edge, meaning he could be one of the 60 or he may not. He was clear about where he wanted to end up.
“My dream has been the NBA my whole life,” Alford said following his workout with the Pacers. “I’ve never been interested in going over seas. That would be a plan C, plan D kind of thing. If I had to spend a year in the D League that would be fine. Or if I had to spend a year overseas to get a shot that way, whatever it takes for me to get to the NBA, that’s what I’m going to do.” Continue reading “Is Bryce Alford a good enough shooter to be NBA material?” »
In the last three days, Lonzo Ball has been part of two public Father’s Day tributes to LaVar Ball. ( Mark J. Terrill/ AP)
In the last couple of weeks, before he loses the tag of UCLA point guard and his name is prefaced by an NBA team, Lonzo Ball appears to be doing some targeted damage control.
The reputation his father, LaVar Ball, began to develop during Lonzo’s lone season at UCLA only continued to permeate the national media after the Bruins exited the NCAA tournament. The narrative eventually shifted to LaVar’s potential to hamper Lonzo’s draft stock.
How did the 2017 Major League Baseball draft effect the 2018 UCLA baseball team? It’s certainly more complicated than adding up the number of players who were drafted.
Of the six UCLA players drafted over the last three days, three are guaranteed to leave and the other three are faced with decisions, some easier than others.
Of the six players from UCLA’s incoming recruiting class who were drafted, three were selected in the first six rounds, meaning they would be passing up some hefty signing bonuses were they to attend UCLA. A third was drafted in the 14th round, a fairly unpredictable range of the draft when it comes to signability. The final two were taken in the last two rounds of the draft, making it likely that at least they will attend UCLA.
Three of the current UCLA players drafted have already exhausted their college eligibility. Pitchers Scott Burke (Orioles, 20th round) and Moises Ceja (Rockies, 32nd round) and outfielder Brett Stephens (Rockies, 28th round) have no decisions to make.
First baseman Sean Bouchard was drafted in the ninth round of the MLB Draft on Tuesday by the Colorado Rockies. (Photo courtesy Katie Meyers/UCLA Athletics)
After his best year as a Bruin, first baseman Sean Bouchard was drafted in the ninth round of the MLB Draft on Tuesday.
The junior from San Diego was the only player to start all 57 games for the Bruins this season, while he led the team in runs (39) and RBIs (43). His .306 batting average was second and he earned his first All-Pac-12 honor this season.
UCLA signee Jeremiah Estrada went in the sixth round (195th overall) to the Chicago Cubs. The right-handed pitcher is the third player in UCLA’s 2017 recruiting class to be drafted in the first two days.
UCLA announced the signing of the 6-foot-8, 317-pound tackle Tuesday, adding Odogwu to an offensive line in need of immediate help. Schools must wait until all admission and compliance standards are met and verified before publicly announcing player signings.
Odogwu was a starter at Miami, but suffered season-ending injuries in back-to-back years. He missed the end of the 2015 season after knee surgery then suffered a broken leg during 2016. He started 14 games for the Hurricanes.