Three thoughts after UCLA’s 71-66 win at No. 20 Gonzaga

1. This might be Steve Alford’s most intriguing UCLA team yet. The Bruins pulled off their most impressive road win in years on Saturday, upsetting No. 20 Gonzaga in a 71-66 decision. They became just the 11th team to ever beat the Bulldogs at McCarthey Athletic Center, which opened in 2004.

A few caveats: The Bulldogs don’t look nearly as good as they did a year ago after losing all three backcourt starters, becoming much more prone to turnovers and missed shots. Center Przemek Karnowski also missed his fourth straight game due to back spams; his absence likely helped UCLA’s Tony Parker hit his first eight shots of the game. Even forward Domantas Sabonis, who had 18 points and eight rebounds, looked banged up for much of the game.

But still, a win is a win, and this is one that will look very good on the Bruins’ resume come Selection Sunday. Continue reading “Three thoughts after UCLA’s 71-66 win at No. 20 Gonzaga” »

Four-star shooting guard Prince Ali officially joins UCLA’s 2015 class

Prince Ali has officially signed with the UCLA men’s basketball team, the school announced Thursday, giving the Bruins a second top backcourt prospect in their 2015 class.

The four-star shooting guard is a consensus top-40 national recruit according to both and, and is a former Sagemont (Fla.) High teammate of UCLA freshman forward Gyorgy Goloman. Ali joins a class that includes four-star point guard Aaron Holiday, whose signing was announced Wednesday.

“Prince is an extremely talented player who has established himself as one of the premier backcourt players in the country,” head coach Steve Alford said in a statement. “He’s a big, athletic guard who has tremendous versatility and comes to our program with a strong understanding of a winning culture. Prince is a wonderful young man and a great addition to the Bruin family.

“When you factor in the signing of Aaron Holiday, our staff couldn’t be more excited about the start of this 2015 class.”

The Bruins do not currently have any other 2015 basketball commitments.