UCLA’s Abu Danladi selected first overall in MLS SuperDraft

UCLA forward Abu Danladi was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft on Friday, going to expansion side Minnesota United.

Danladi scored 18 goals and notched 18 assists in his three years as a Bruin after moving to the United States from Ghana through the Right to Dream Academy. Despite an injury-riddled junior season, Danladi led the Bruins with a career-best seven goals in only 11 games.

UCLA also sent Jackson Yueill to the pro ranks as the midfielder was the No. 6 overall pick to the San Jose Earthquakes. Yueill was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection this season after leading the conference in assists (11) as a sophomore.

Defender Michael Amick was picked with the 10th pick in the second round (32nd overall) to the Portland Timbers.

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 team crystallized its identity in Colorado


The UCLA football team never found its identity in 2016. It appeared to be a defensive stalwart for a few games, a pass-happy team Mike Leach would have been proud of for a few games…but it never became clear what UCLA did best. It was no coincidence the Bruins won four games in one of the most disappointing seasons in recent memory.

If the UCLA basketball team’s identity wasn’t clear before Thursday’s blowout win at Colorado, it was crystallized during the 104-89 victory that wasn’t nearly as close as that score would indicate. UCLA is exceptional at two things. Both, not surprisingly, are of the offensive variety.

One, the Bruins’ 3-point shooting is tremendous. Two, their fast break is nothing short of spectacular. Opponents are well aware of both at this point, but still struggle to prevent either, a telltale sign UCLA’s strengths can carry them a long way this season.

Yes, the Bruins clearly have weaknesses on the basketball court. They are average defensively. In a related matter, they struggle to keep teams off the offensive boards. But UCLA is so potent offensively, it more than compensates for any deficiencies.

The team with the highest 3-point percentage in the country broke the school record it set in the season-opener by making 19 3-pointers against Colorado. There are four players shooting better than 43 percent from the 3-point line and that doesn’t include Isaac Hamilton, who broke out of a 4-for-33 slump to make 4 of his 5 attempts from beyond the arc Thursday. Continue reading

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

Colorado will challenge No. 4 UCLA’s weakest defensive links

No. 4 UCLA's road trip begins tonight against a Colorado team that  is a deceiving 0-3 in the Pac-12 after playing all three of its conference games on the road

No. 4 UCLA’s road trip begins tonight against a Colorado team that is a deceiving 0-3 in the Pac-12 after playing all three of its conference games on the road

It should probably frighten the Pac-12 – and maybe the rest of college basketball – that the UCLA basketball team has ample room to improve.

It’s not surprising that a team whose two best players are freshman would get substantially better over the course of a season, but it’s another thing to identify areas for potential growth for a 16-1 team ranked No. 4 in the country.

Entering tonight’s game at Colorado, UCLA is allowing 13 offensive rebounds per game. This not only hurts them in obvious ways like allowing opportunities for second-chance points. It hampers what the Bruins do best, run the fast break.

UCLA can argue it has the best transition offense in college basketball, freshman point guard Lonzo Ball being the obvious catalyst. If UCLA can cut down its opponents’ offensive rebounds, it can help itself in two areas.

Colorado is an interesting case on the boards. The Buffaloes’ front court is on the smallish side, but they’ve got one of the largest, most physical backcourts in the Pac-12. In other words, Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton are facing a difficult test on the defensive end. Colorado will likely try to post up UCLA’s two weakest defensive links, and they will certainly test them on the boards.

Read the complete preview for UCLA versus Colorado here as the Bruins embark on their second road trip of conference play, one it will finish in Utah.

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

LaMelo Ball discusses his half-court shot; Lonzo Ball weighs in

Lonzo Ball’s youngest brother, LaMelo Ball, was on UCLA’s radar before he entered high school two years ago. Because of the half-court shot he made a couple weeks ago – it wasn’t a buzzer-beater – the Chino Hills High School sophomore has is being discussed in circles that include Stephen Curry.

The youngest of the three Ball brothers, who committed to UCLA while he was in eighth grade, discusses his now famous half-court shot in the video below. Lonzo Ball also addresses the shot by his brother, who he dubs a “crazy player.”

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

OC Jedd Fisch becomes highest-paid UCLA assistant

FILE - In this April 1, 2016, file photo, Michigan quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch, left, signals to players on the field form the sideline, watched by Michigan quarterback Shane Morris (7), during the NCAA college football team's annual spring game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. Morris, the No. 3 quarterback in the 2013 class according to a 247Sports Composite, has started only two college games and hasn’t thrown a single touchdown pass. (AP Photo/Tony Ding, File)

Michigan quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch, left, here with Wolverines quarterback Shane Morris, will take over as offensive coordinator for UCLA. (AP Photo/Tony Ding, File)

For coming to UCLA, offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch signed a two-year contract worth $810,000 a season, making him the second-highest paid assistant coach at a public Pac-12 school behind Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt.

Here’s how Fisch’s salary breaks down:

  • $250,000 per year base salary
  • $244,000 per year talent fee
  • $150,000 one-time signing fee
  • $156,000 retention bonus for first contract year (if Fisch remains with staff on Dec. 15, 2017)
  • $306,000 total retention bonus for second contract year
    • $150,000 if Fisch is still on the staff on June 15, 2018
    • $156,000 is Fisch is still on staff on Dec. 15, 2018
  • $10,000 for camps that Fisch works

Leavitt signed a four-year contract paying $1.15 million per year in December, according to the Oregonian. Last year, only 12 assistants in college football made more than $1 million.

Fisch’s contract eclipses that of offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, who was the highest paid assistant coach at a public Pac-12 school in 2016. Klemm made $760,000 last season.

According to M Live, Fisch was scheduled to make $750,000 at Michigan this year, where he would have been in his second year as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks and wide receivers coach. He made $700,000 during his first year in Ann Arbor.

Fisch’s contract includes a unique clause that terminates employment in the event that head coach Jim Mora leaves or is fired. Unlike the contracts from other UCLA assistants, Fisch’s contract will end 30 days after the hiring of a new head coach. In the event of head coach departure, the other assistant coaches have contracts that continue until their respective ending dates.

See the whole contract below Continue reading

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