Zach LaVine is not excited* to join the Minnesota Timberwolves

With their 13th overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected UCLA’s Zach LaVine. He was not thrilled.

To be fair, LaVine isn’t headed into an ideal situation. The 6-foot-5 guard had predicted going to the Phoenix Suns –likely one spot later rather than at No. 18 — and he’ll instead join a franchise that ranks among one of the most inept in the league. With star forward Kevin Love almost certainly on his way out, the roster might only return three players who average double-digit scoring.

As a consolation (?), he could play alongside fellow former UCLA guard Shabazz Muhammad, whom the Timberwolves picked 14th overall in 2013.

Also, I hear it’s cold in Minnesota. Good luck, Zach.

*UPDATE: Reporters asked LaVine whether or not he was aware that Twitter thought he was upset.

“No man, I’m completely ecstatic,” he said. “I couldn’t be more happy. I’m a very emotional person, so I might’ve uttered something completely wrong but I put my head down, thanked God, kissed my mom, kissed my dad, couldn’t believe this was happening to me right now. I’m going into Minnesota full-fledged ready to become a Timberwolf.”

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Pac-12 links: Arizona linebacker cheers on former teammate in World Cup

» As the World Cup rolls on, a Arizona linebacker cheers on a former teammate who has since become a reserve defender on the U.S. national team.

» Former Washington coach Jim Lambright was arrested for domestic violence for allegedly assaulting his granddaughter. His wife said he is suffering from dementia.

» As a result of Oregon’s poorly handled sexual assault investigation, everybody lost.

» Going to the Hawaii Bowl cost Oregon State $170,000, but athletic director Bob de Carolis said the deficit could have been worse. Continue reading

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Jim Mora lists Washington home for $3.15 million

Some six months after turning down a chance to become Washington’s head coach, Jim Mora severed another tie with his home state.

Heading into his third season at UCLA, Mora has listed his Washington for $3.149 million according to the LA Times. The two-story, six-bedroom house in Yarrow Point is listed on Realtor.com as having been built in 1918 and renovated in 2008, and comes complete with a theater room, gaming center, seven built-in flatscreen TVs, a wet bar, and an artist studio. The master suite also opens up to a deck with lake views.

Still, it’s hardly the highest-priced property in the neighborhood. According to Realtor.com, three homes in the area have recently sold for between $4.35 million to $6.4 million. Several others are listed for more than $3.9 million, including a pair of three-bedroom houses.

Mora could probably buy up one of those too if he wanted. Currently living in Manhattan Beach, he is slated to earn $3.25 million in base salary this year, as well as up to $930,000 in performance bonuses.

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NBA Mock Draft roundup: Where will LaVine, Anderson and Adams go?

Thursday could mark a new milestone for UCLA basketball.

Guards Zach LaVine, Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams each have a chance to go in the first round — setting up what could be the program’s largest draft class in more than three decades.

The last time three Bruins were taken in the first round was 1979, when David Greenwood, Roy Hamilton and Brad Holland went second, tenth and 14th, respectively. UCLA came close to matching that in 2008; Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love went off the board at fourth and fifth on their way to All-NBA resumes, but Luc Richard Mbah a Moute slipped into the second round at 37th overall.

Here’s a roundup of where LaVine, Anderson and Adams are projected to go on various NBA mock drafts, in this order: ESPN’s Jay Bilas, Draft Express, ESPN’s Chad Ford, Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Sporting News, CBS, and Dick Vitale.

Bilas DX Ford Y! USA SI SN CBS Vitale
Zach LaVine 10 13 18 21 10 18 14 17 11
Kyle Anderson 24 25 21 17 15 27 18 14 26
Jordan Adams n/a 24 29 24 n/a 29 n/a 21 27

Average draft positions: LaVine — 14.67; Anderson — 20.78; Adams — 25.67 (out of six mocks)

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Colorado State transfer Jon Octeus schedules UCLA as last of three visits

UCLA will get the last crack at convincing an experienced point guard to come to Los Angeles.

Colorado State’s outgoing graduate transfer Jon Octeus has narrowed down his choices to the Bruins along with Missouri and Cincinnati, and will visit UCLA on either June 26 or 27 according to The Coloradoan. He is currently finishing up a two-day visit to the Tigers and will see the Bearcats over the weekend.

Octeus announced his intent to transfer out of Colorado State on Monday. The Miami-area native will be immediately eligible upon obtaining his undergraduate degree next month. Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: Conference only distributes 68 percent of revenue back to members

» The Pac-12′s record $334 million in revenue in 2012-13 led all conferences, but the league only returned 68.3 percent of that back to its members. Every other Big Five conference returned at least 90 percent.

Pac-12 CFO Ron McQuate told CBS that the disparity is due to the conference’s costs in operating its own network, rather than a media partnership.

» Oregon State has officially hired former Cal State LA head coach Stephen Thompson as an assistant. Thompson, who played for Syracuse, faced UCLA coach Steve Alford during Indiana’s 74-73 national title game victory in 1987.

» Recovering from a recent hip surgery, Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said recent transfers out of the program aren’t indicative of a “smoking gun.” Continue reading

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UCLA’s all-time leading rusher Johnathan Franklin forced to retire after neck injury

At 24 years old, Johnathan Franklin’s career is already over.

UCLA’s all-time leading rusher will retire from the NFL after just one season, his career ended by a neck injury that sidelined him in Week 12 last year. The 5-foot-11 back was drafted in the fourth round in 2013 — lower than both he and many analysts expected — but was nonetheless overjoyed to head to the Green Bay Packers.

However, Franklin only carried the ball 19 times for a touchdown and 107 yards — 103 of which came in a Sept. 22 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Continue reading

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Seali’i Epenesa signs with New England Patriots as final roster addition

One more Bruin is keeping his NFL dream alive.

Nose tackle Seali’i Epenesa wasn’t among the five UCLA players drafted last month, but signed with the New England Patriots as its 90th roster addition. The 6-foot-1, 310-pound lineman started 17 games over his last two seasons in Los Angeles, but was beaten out late last fall by true freshman Kenny Clark.

Epenesa recorded 16 tackles as a senior, as well as the lone sack of his career.

NFL teams cut their rosters to 75 players after the third preseason weekend, and to the regular-season maximum of 53 shortly after that.

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Brett Hundley, Eric Kendricks to represent UCLA at Pac-12 Media Days

Junior quarterback Brett Hundley and senior linebacker Eric Kendricks will represent UCLA at Pac-12 Media Days in late July, alongside Bruins head coach Jim Mora.

The event will be held at Paramount Studios in Hollywood on July 23 and 24, expanding to two days for the first time. UCLA will be available to most media on latter of the two days, taking the podium at 10:50 a.m.

You can see the full Pac-12 Media Days schedule below. Continue reading

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UCLA listed as early favorite in all but one game in 2014

Heading into a season with national title hopes, UCLA has Las Vegas on its side.

The Golden Nugget released lines this week for 200 “Games of the Year” and have the Bruins as favorites in eight of the nine games featured. Oregon is a 3-point favorite at the Rose Bowl on Oct. 11, after romping to a 42-12 win over UCLA last season in Eugene.

The downtown Vegas casino gave UCLA narrow edges over Washington (-3.5), USC (-4.5) and Stanford (-3), but also made the team a three-touchdown favorite in the season opener at Virginia and again on Oct. 18 at Cal.

Odds weren’t listed for games against Memphis, Utah and Colorado — teams that combined for a 12-24 record last season.

The full set of early lines for UCLA: Continue reading

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