Cameron Judge starts CFL career tonight

UCLA linebacker Cameron Judge (right) was the second overall pick in the CFL Draft this year. (The Associated Press)

Only a week ago, Cameron Judge graduated from UCLA. On Thursday, the former UCLA linebacker will start his professional career.

Judge’s Saskatchewan Roughriders start the CFL season against the Montreal Alouettes at 4:30 p.m. PT on Thursday. Judge, who was born in Montreal to an American father and Canadian mother, tested the NFL waters at a rookie mini camp with the Houston Texans, but ultimately landed with the Roughriders, who picked the Oaks Christian High graduate with the No. 2 overall selection in the CFL Draft.

Defensive tackle Eli Ankou was also drafted by a CFL team, but was able to sign a deal as an undrafted free agent with the Texans.

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UCLA links: Football gets two offensive line commits

Hello, friends! Long time, no blog. You may have noticed I was gone; I went on vacation. But I’ve returned, so here’s a roundup of what went down around UCLA athletics while I was out:

Football recruiting: The Bruins picked up two offensive line commits for the 2018 class: junior college transfer Jason Dickson and three-star prospect Chris Bleich.

  • Dickson, a 6-foot-7, 295-pound tackle from Diablo Valley College, announced his commitment on June 16. He had offers from Colorado, Arizona State and TCU, among others.
  • Bleich is a one-time Penn State commit, but pulled the pledge to his home-state team in April, and committed to the Bruins on June 19. The 6-foot-6, 313-pound lineman is 241st in ESPN’s 300 national recruiting rankings. Scout.com and Rivals.com tab Bleich as a three-star prospect.
  • The Bruins have 11 total commits for the 2018 class, including three offensive linemen now.

Continue reading “UCLA links: Football gets two offensive line commits” »

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Is Bryce Alford a good enough shooter to be NBA material?


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?” »

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Lonzo Ball ramping up efforts for Father’s Day, NBA draft

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.

With the NBA draft less than two weeks away – and Father’s Day around the corner – the family began to do something about it. Continue reading “Lonzo Ball ramping up efforts for Father’s Day, NBA draft” »

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Decision time for UCLA baseball players after MLB draft

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.

Junior pitcher Griffin Canning, the Bruins’ No. 1 starter last season, was the Angels’ second-round pick, No. 47 overall. Were he to return to UCLA, he would be leaving behind an estimated signing bonus of $1.4 million. It’s fairly safe to say he’s not coming back. Continue reading “Decision time for UCLA baseball players after MLB draft” »

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