UCLA kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn has been named the Pac-12’s Special Teams Player of the Week after hitting a school-record 60-yard field goal.
The senior broke Chris Sailer’s 18-year-old mark of 56 yards last Thursday, giving the Bruins a 16-point lead going into halftime of their 40-24 win over then-No. 20 Cal. It was the best moment yet in what has been a surprising final season for Fairbairn, who has turned himself into a Lou Groza Award candidate.
The Hawaii native is 13 of 14 on field goal attempts this season, and ranks seventh in the country with a at 92.9 percent. He is also only 17 points away from tying John Lee’s all-time UCLA scoring record of 390.
Fairbairn was also earned the Pac-12’s weekly honor last November, after he made three field goals in a 44-30 win at Washington.
This was arguably the best statistical two-game stretch of his career, one that saw him shoot 61.8 percent from the field and average 5.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals. Without his performance against the Cougars, the Bruins’ likely would have slipped off from bubble team to NIT-bound.
Powell also won the conference’s top weekly honor on Nov. 24 and Feb. 2. His third nod moved him past Cal’s Tyrone Wallace and Arizona’s Stanley Johnson, who have both been named Pac-12 Player of the Week twice this season.
In the midst of a career stretch, UCLA’s Norman Powell has been named Pac-12 Player of the Week for the second time this season.
The senior guard has scored 68 points on 56.1 percent shooting in his last three games, the first time that he has ever strung together three consecutive efforts of at least 20 points. He did this by rediscovering his penchant for attacking the lane — scoring efficiently despite hitting just one of six 3-pointers during the same stretch.
Still the Bruins’ best on-ball defender, he totaled seven steals in wins over Utah and Colorado, as well as nine rebounds and five assists.
Powell had been previously named the conference’s weekly MVP on Nov. 24, after he combined to score 47 points in wins over Nicholls State and Long Beach State. Freshman forward Kevon Looney also won Pac-12 Player of the Week on Jan. 12, making UCLA the only school to have three such honors this season.
After the best weekend of his UCLA career, true freshman Kevon Looney earned his first Pac-12 Player of the Week honor.
The rangy 6-foot-9 forward helped the Bruins break their five-loss streak with a dominant effort in Thursday’s double-overtime win over Stanford. In the 86-81 victory, Looney poured in an absurd line: 27 points, 19 rebounds, three assists and a block. He was the first UCLA player to have that many points and rebounds in a game since Ed O’Bannon in 1994.
His follow-up effort against Cal on Sunday wasn’t bad either. Looney led UCLA with 15 points in the 73-54 win, and also chipped in seven boards, two assists and two steals. Continue reading →
Eric Kendricks’ stellar season is garnering more and more recognition. UCLA’s senior linebacker became a Butkus Award finalist on Monday, and also picked up his second Pac-12 Player of the Week honor.
Kendricks is the second Bruin in as many years to be named a finalist for the Butkus Award, given each year to college football’s top linebacker. No UCLA player has ever won the Butkus; All-American linebacker Anthony Barr lost out to Alabama’s C.J. Mosley last season.
This year, Kendricks’ stiffest competition is likely Washington linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha, who has 23.5 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks. Kendricks has the edge in tackles (128 to 63) and interceptions (three to zero), but has just seven tackles for loss and two sacks. Continue reading →