UCLA basketball finalizes 2015-16 nonconference schedule

UCLA men’s basketball released its upcoming nonconference schedule today, and the spot to mark in your calendar is Dec. 3.

That’s when the Bruins will host Kentucky, facing a team that dismantled them in an 83-44 blowout last December in Chicago — one that the Wildcats opened with a 24-0 run. UK will almost certainly enter Pauley Pavilion as the favorite, but this is also a team that lost seven players from its Final Four squad.

As has become customary under head coach Steve Alford — who is heading into his third season — UCLA has a loaded nonconference slate that also includes a visit to Gonzaga on Dec. 12, and a game against North Carolina on Dec. 19 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Both teams beat the Bruins by double-digits last winter. The Bulldogs also ended UCLA’s season with a 74-62 win in the Sweet 16.

“I’ve maintained all along that we want to upgrade our program’s schedule in hopes of playing tough and exciting marquee games,” Alford said in a statement, “and I’d say we’ve moved even further in that direction this year. … This non-conference schedule figures to be one of the strongest in the nation, and I know our players can’t wait to take on this challenge.”

The Bruins could also play Kansas and Indiana in November’s Maui Invitational, a tournament that also includes St. John’s, UNLV and Wake Forest.

UCLA’s first competition will come in an exhibition game against Cal State Los Angeles on Oct. 30, and it will officially open its season against Monmouth on Nov. 13.

See the full nonconference schedule below: Continue reading

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

PHOTOS: UCLA’s season ends in 74-62 loss to Gonzaga

Photos from UCLA’s 74-62 loss to Gonzaga on Friday, March 27, one that ended the Bruins’ season in the Sweet 16. (AP/Getty)

— UCLA’s surprising tournament run ended Friday, when Gonzaga beat the Bruins as soundly as they did three months ago.
— The scene from the UCLA locker room, and likely goodbye to both Norman Powell and Kevon Looney.
— Columnist Vincent Bonsignore, on how the slipper never quite fit for these Bruins.

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

VIDEO: UCLA’s Kevon Looney remains undecided on NBA draft

Kevon Looney’s college career likely ended with UCLA’s 74-62 loss to Gonzaga on Friday, the former five-star recruit expected by most to declare for the NBA draft. But in the locker room at NRG Stadium in Houston, he declined to commit either way on his future.

“UCLA is a great, great school,” he said. “I had a lot of fun playing here. I feel like I could improve as a basketball player and as a person. College is always a great place to build your character and build your game. So I could see myself coming back.”

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

VIDEO: Bryce Alford talks about UCLA’s 74-62 loss to Gonzaga

Point guard Bryce Alford talked about UCLA’s 74-62 loss to Gonzaga on Friday, one that ended the Bruins’ season in the Sweet 16. He had eight points and four assists to close his sophomore year, and only shot 3 of 11.

“I missed a fast-break layup, and I don’t remember the last time I did that. (Isaac Hamilton) did it a couple of possessions later. … It was just one of those nights when the ball didn’t bounce our way and we didn’t make enough shots.”

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

VIDEO: Tony Parker talks about UCLA’s 74-62 loss to Gonzaga

UCLA center Tony Parker had 16 points and 11 rebounds against Gonzaga for his seventh double-double of the season, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the 74-62 season-ending loss in the Sweet 16. The junior talked about the game, and how the Bulldogs used center Przemek Karnowski (18 points, nine rebounds) with such success.

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