Markelle Fultz motivated to put himself ‘further in front’ of Lonzo Ball


Three weeks ago, Lonzo Ball told ESPN 710-AM he was better than Markelle Fultz, his chief competition to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft. Fultz responded on Tuesday in an interview with Sports Illustrated.

“I have a lot of respect for him, and he’s supposed to say that. Anyone that’s your competitor is going to think that they’re better,” Fultz told SI Now. “To me, it was just funny. He just motivated me to work harder and be sure I put myself further in front.”

Fultz, who played his freshman season at Washington before declaring for the NBA draft in March, is widely projected to be the No. 1 pick on June 22. Ball, who declared for the draft after his freshman year at UCLA, is often referenced as second-best prospect in the draft.

On March 28, Ball was asked who the better player is. “Markelle’s a great player, but I feel I’m better than him,” Ball told ESPN 710-AM. “I think I can lead a team better than him. Obviously he’s a great scorer — he’s a great player, so I’m not taking that away from him.”

Fultz acknowledged his budding rivalry with Ball in the interview with Sports Illustrated and addressed to the chances we’ll see him wearing Big Baller Brand apparel next year – “Over my dead body,” his mother, Ebony Fultz, said. Fultz doesn’t just want to be the No. 1 pick, he wants to win the NBA MVP next season.

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts proud of his UCLA ties

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts still holds the UCLA single-season record for stolen bases (photo/uclabruins.com)

In advance of the Dodgers’ UCLA night on April 28, manager Dave Roberts spoke about his four years in Westwood. He chose to walk on to the UCLA baseball team instead of accepting a football scholarship to be an option quarterback at Air Force.

Before he even chose a sport, Roberts’ athletic career nearly ended as a sophomore in high school. He blew out his knee so badly that he needed a second opinion to find a doctor who told him he could ever play sports again. He went on to win a CIF championship as Rancho Buena Vista’s quarterback before choosing baseball in college.

READ: Dave Roberts proud to link UCLA to the Dodgers

Roberts didn’t just pass through UCLA. He spend four years there, the fourth being the most vital to launching a 10-year playing career in major league baseball. There were more than 1,300 players selected ahead of him, including nine UCLA teammates, in the 1993 MLB draft. He returned to UCLA, where he set a school record with 45 stolen bases, and achieved career highs in batting average (.353), on-base percentage (.445) and slugging percentage (.468). He was drafted 21 rounds earlier in 1994.

Roberts spent three seasons playing for the Dodgers, but his most notable feat came as a member of the Red Sox. Roberts famously stole second base and eventually scored the tying run in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the ALCS against the Yankees. The Red Sox won in extra innings and didn’t lose again on the way to snapping an 86-year drought and winning the 2004 World Series.

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UCLA spring football day 8: Running game shows up

Running back Soso Jamabo during UCLA spring practice in 2016. Photo by Brad Graverson // Daily Breeze

Last week, Jedd Fisch barked at Josh Rosen for not breaking the huddle correctly. On Monday, Fisch barked out a play call while under center to show backup Devon Modster the exact right way to do it.

Fisch’s offense isn’t “pro-style,” but after extensive experience in the NFL, the first-year offensive coordinator’s standards are definitely straight out of the league.

More on Fisch’s high expectations.

Video interviews

Here are notes/observations for the day: Continue reading “UCLA spring football day 8: Running game shows up” »

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Video: Devon Modster and Caleb Wilson

Quarterback Devon Modster talks about how much he’s learned under Jedd Fisch and reveals UCLA’s emergency plan last year if Mike Fafaul would have gotten hurt for a brief period of time.

Tight end Caleb Wilson talks about the evolution of the tight end position at UCLA, how helpful it is that Rip Scherer stayed with the Bruins during the offseason coaching carousel and what he likes about Fisch’s offense.

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