VIDEO: Jonah Bolden practices with UCLA after being cleared

Jonah Bolden practiced for the first time in front of Los Angeles media on Tuesday, providing a glimpse at the type of player that could have changed the arc of UCLA’s season.

A four-star recruit, the 6-foot-10 wing was ruled ineligible to play this season, but this week the NCAA cleared him to begin practicing. Bolden said that he had been able to get individual training with assistant coach with Ed Schilling over the past few months. He described those as being tailored for his frame and body type, name-dropping Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo as a pro comparison.

Added head coach Steve Alford: “He’s a big guard, or he can play a stretch four and really do a lot of things helping both bigs and guards.”

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UCLA basketball schedules December game against Kentucky

Even before UCLA’s season began, Steve Alford has insisted that he wants to schedule tough, marquee opponents going forward — something he had little control over his first season.

“I’ve never been somebody that’s hid from opponents,” Alford said more than three months ago.

After squeezing in a game against Duke last winter, he continues backing that up. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the Bruins will face Kentucky in December at the United Center in Chicago. Continue reading

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Bruins still waiting on eligibility of Hamilton, Bail

Assistant coach Ed Schilling started UCLA’s Monday practice with a skill-work session, focusing on dribbling and passing. Some players couldn’t dribble two balls at quite the rhythm and pace asked of them, so it’s a good sign the staff is spending time building these skills.

Some notes:

– The eligibility of forward Wanaah Bail and guard Isaac Hamilton are still undetermined. Coach Steve Alford said the NCAA could issue a decision on Bail very soon, but Hamilton’s appeal was submitted very recently. Continue reading

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Four-star forward Trevon Bluiett becomes UCLA’s first 2014 commitment

Steve Alford has finally landed his first commitment as UCLA’s head coach.

It’s a good one too, even if it doesn’t fill the team’s most pressing needs. Four-star forward Trevon Bluiett announced his decision to attend UCLA on Twitter today, giving the Bruins a polished wing with great shooting range and impressive passing instincts. Assistant coach Ed Schilling, who once coached Bluiett at Indianapolis’ Park Tudor High, took the lead role in his recruitment.

He took his official visit to Westwood this past weekend, accompanied four-star point guard Quentin Snider, an ex-Louisville commit. Continue reading

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Prospect watch: 2014 forward Trevon Bluiett

Trevon Bluiett, 6-5, 185
Park Tudor | Spiece Indy Heat/Indiana Elite
Scout: Four stars | Rivals: Four stars

Trevon Bluiett is a skilled swingman who boasts a diverse offensive game. He played for UCLA assistant Ed Schilling when the coach worked at Indianapolis’ Park Tudor School, and won the state championship game MVP as both a freshman and a sophomore. That feat becomes even more notable once you consider that he played with Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell during that first title run. Continue reading

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Power forward Wanaah Bail to visit UCLA

Steve Alford may finally land a prospect other than his son Bryce.

Save for four-star guard Allerik Freeman’s de-commitment, UCLA’s new head coach has generated little news in 2013 recruiting over his first two months on the job. That could change soon with 6-foot-8 forward Wanaah Bail.

A three-star prospect in 2012, the Bahamas native will officially visit the Bruins on Wednesday and Thursday according to multiple recruiting sites. Listed at 210 pounds, the former Texas Tech signee could immediately provide much-needed depth to the UCLA frontcourt.

Bail had committed to the Red Raiders in 2012, but left after briefly enrolling in summer school. CBS Sports reported that then-head coach Billy Gillispie’s mistreatment of players was the main reason the forward left, but academic issues were also rumored. Texas Tech reportedly released him from his NLI.

ESPN’s scouting report praises the lefty’s athleticism and ability to defend both forward spots, but needs to become a more consistent offensive threat. UCLA assistant Ed Schilling also coached him in the past at adidas Nations.

According to 247Sports’ Jerry Meyer, Bail will visit USC on Friday and Saturday, and Miami next weekend.

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How often will Kyle Anderson play point guard?

Before he lost his job, Ben Howland said Kyle Anderson would become a full-time point guard — at least on offense.

Over a month after UCLA made its coaching change, that’s no longer the case. Filling in the void left by Larry Drew II is still paramount, but the Bruins may help themselves more by utilizing the multi-talented Anderson all over the court.

“We’ve got to figure out what’s going to be best for the Kyle,” head coach Steve Alford said. “We’ve got to keep all that open as far as how many different ways we can play him.” Continue reading

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A look at UCLA basketball assistants

Duane Broussard: Broussard, the first to join the new UCLA staff, has on the New Mexico staff even before Steve Alford started there after coaching at Iowa. One of his main responsibilities with the Lobos with advance scouting and game preparation, so his duties under Alford with the Bruins could be similar. Continue reading

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Alford adds Indiana prep coach Ed Schilling to UCLA staff

Steve Alford said during his introductory press conference Tuesday that his UCLA staff would be filled within the next 24 to 48 hours.

Former New Mexico assistant Duane Broussard, whom Alford officially announced while giving his opening statement at Pauley Pavilion, was the first name. According to the Indianapolis Star, former Wright State head coach Ed Schilling is the next, leaving one more open Bruins assistant spot.

“I wasn’t really looking to get back into college coaching,” Schilling told the Star. “I was content with what I was doing. But to be able to coach with one of my best friends and to do it at UCLA was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Continue reading

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