UCLA breaks ground on new football, basketball facilities

UCLA officially broke ground on both the Wasserman Football Center and Mo Ostin Basketball Center this afternoon. Here’s a bit of footage to make you feel like you were right in the middle of the festivities.

Jim Mora thanked the Wasserman family for its contributions:

A virtual tour of what the football facility should look like:

A virtual tour of what the basketball facility should look like:

Both are projected for completion by around fall 2017.

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Report: UCLA could make Bryce Alford walk on for T.J. Leaf

UCLA point guard Bryce Alford, the son of head coach Steve Alford, could be taken off scholarship as a senior in 2016-17. (David Stephenson/AP)

UCLA point guard Bryce Alford, the son of head coach Steve Alford, could be taken off scholarship as a senior in 2016-17. (David Stephenson/AP)

Two months ago, Steve Alford left open the possibility of taking his son Bryce off scholarship.

“We haven’t talked about that,” the UCLA men’s basketball coach said in June. “But obviously, that’s something that we can do.”

And something that appears to be an increasingly likely possibility. According to Scout.com, the Bruins are willing to make point guard Bryce Alford a walk-on in 2016-17 to make room for five-star power forward T.J. Leaf — who decommitted from Arizona on Thursday. Continue reading

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LaMelo Ball commits to UCLA basketball as a 13 year old

LaMelo Ball has verbally committed to the UCLA men’s basketball team. LaMelo Ball is 5-foot-10 and 13 years old.

In the latest development in the strange world of recruiting, the youngest Ball brother decided on Friday to follow in the footsteps of his two older siblings. Before even playing in his first game for Chino Hills High School, he accepted an offer to become a Bruin.

“It is my dream school,” he told the Los Angeles News Group’s Michelle Gardner. “I decided to get it out of the way now instead of waiting for the future.”

Lonzo Ball is a five-star point guard who is the gem of UCLA’s 2016 class. The middle brother, LiAngelo, announced in April his decision to join the Bruins in 2017.

Assuming his commitment holds, LaMelo Ball will arrive in Westwood in 2019.

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UCLA to open Maui Invitational against UNLV

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UCLA last won the Maui Invitational in 2006. Doing so again this year would be a big statement for Steve Alford.

The eight-team tournament will signal the Bruins’ first significant competition of the season, starting with UNLV on Nov. 23 at 8:30 pm PT (ESPN2). The Runnin’ Rebels have regressed under head coach Dave Rice — missing the NCAA tournament the last two years — but still have a talented roster that includes five-star center Stephen Zimmerman.

After that game, UCLA will face either Kansas or Chaminade the next day. The other side of the tournament bracket consists of St. John’s, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and Indiana.

“You get a really good litmus test right away,” Alford said. “You get a really good feel from a coaching standpoint, playing three games in a row against quality opponents. You’re going to get a really good idea and picture of who your team is going into December.” Continue reading

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