UCLA retires Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 across all sports

Jackie Robinson's No. 42 is now painted on both sides of UCLA's midfield logo at the Rose Bowl.

Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 is now painted on both sides of UCLA’s midfield logo at the Rose Bowl. The number has been retired across all Bruin sports.

UCLA has retired Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 across all sports, honoring the former four-star athlete and civil rights pioneer 75 years after he first enrolled as Bruin.

The school announced the news between the first and second quarters of UCLA’s rivalry game on Saturday against USC. The No. 42 was also painted on both sides of the midfield logo at the Rose Bowl, and adorned the Bruins’ helmets.

“Jackie Robinson established a standard of excellence to which people the world over should aspire,” said athletic director Dan Guerrero. Continue reading

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What to watch: No. 9/11 UCLA vs. No. 19/24 USC

It’s finally here. UCLA will kick off against USC at 5 p.m., in a game that could change the tone of the entire season. Here’s what to watch heading into Jim Mora’s attempt at a third straight rivalry win.

UCLA offense vs. USC defense: Once again, UCLA’s fate will depend on how Brett Hundley performs. Headed to the NFL draft after this season, the redshirt junior has a chance to be the first Bruin quarterback to go 3-0 against the Trojans since Cade McNown did. (McNown remains the only one to go a perfect 4-0.)

Hundley’s passing totals in two games against USC won’t blow anyone away: 40 of 57, 442 yards, one touchdown. It’s his legs that have consistently cut through the Trojan defense. Seven times in his career, Hundley has rushed for two touchdowns in a single game. He has just one such performance this season — two weeks ago at Washington — but admitted earlier in the year that he had allowed NFL draft expectations to discourage him from running.

That he’s shed that burden is bad news for USC. Hundley has rushed for two touchdowns each time he’s faced the Trojans, and totaled 80 yards on the ground on 13 carries last season. He only had 18 yards against UW, but had averaged 106 through the four outings prior. Continue reading

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UCLA athletic facilities collectively named to honor Jackie Robinson

UCLA athletic facilities have now been named to honor former Bruin star and civil rights pioneer Jackie Robinson, the school announced Friday afternoon.

The Jackie Robinson Athletics and Recreation Complex will be the new umbrella name that includes 22 different buildings, including Pauley Pavilion, Spaulding Field, the John Wooden Center, and just about any other on-campus venue you can think of.

Robinson arrived on the UCLA campus 75 years ago, and went on to star in four sports. The man who broke baseball’s color barrier was an honorable All-American in football, the conference scoring leader in basketball, and an NCAA champion in the broad jump.

“Jackie Robinson’s name and his legacy are an honor to this university, and to all the students and student-athletes who will continue to be inspired by his courage, dignity and grace,” UCLA chancellor Gene Block said in a statement. “Jackie detested injustice, fought for civil rights and his spirit of breaking barriers has been and always will be a guiding force of UCLA past, present and future.”

UCLA players will wear the Robinson’s No. 42 on their helmets for Saturday’s game against USC at the Rose Bowl. The number will also be painted on the 25-yard line.

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Bryce Alford notches second double-double in three games

We’re just three games into the UCLA basketball season, and Bryce Alford already has the first two double-doubles of his career.

The Bruins’ sophomore point guard has started making an argument for Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the Year. As a freshman, there were times he looked like more of a two-guard, eventually finishing a season off the bench with averages of 8.0 points and 2.8 assists on 38.5-percent shooting.

UCLA hasn’t played anyone of note yet, comfortably rolling past Montana State, Coastal Carolina and — on Thursday night — Nicholls State. But in a 107-74 win over the Colonels, Alford had a sparking line of 28 points, a career-high 13 assists and just one turnover. Continue reading

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