UCLA’s Jim Mora Jr. vs L.A. Times Columnist throwdown (video)

UCLA Bruins

UCLA Head coach Jim Mora Jr. is not scared of L.A. Times columnist T.J. Simers. Mora had his team’s effort questioned by Simers on Saturday, specifically if the team was tanking to set up a rematch with Stanford the following week in the Pac12 title game.

The Cardinal are presumed to be an easier matchup than Oregon, and a UCLA win would have brought on the Ducks. Although this logic is at least semi flawed because Stanford won at Oregon.

[Read more…]

UCLA super frosh Shabazz Muhammad declared ineligible

shabazz-muhammad

UCLA super freshman Shabazz Muhammad has been declared ineligible to participate by the NCAA, the school announced before its season opener Friday night at Pauley Pavilion

Muhammad, the national high school player of the year last year and a possible top three pick in the next NBA Draft was found to have violated NCAA amateurism rules.

[Read more…]

#17 UCLA Bruins: College Basketball 111 in 111

HOT UCLA CHEERLEADERS

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

With the uncertainty surrounding Shabazz Muhammad’s eligibility, it’s difficult to rank the UCLA Bruins.  With Muhammad, they are a potential Final Four contender.  Without him, there is still improved talent but the Top 20 seems like a more reasonable expectation.

[Read more…]

UCLA Basketball: Back on the Map? You Bet!

UCLA Bruins

UCLA Bruins head coach Ben Howland has had a disappointing past few seasons. The Reeves Nelson-saga really wore-on the UCLA program and brought the program down. It seems like the dark days are behind the Bruins and Howland, though. Thanks to a great recruiting class for the upcoming season, the Bruins are poised to make a PAC-12 title run and a run at a national championship. Howland has put the Bruins back on the map. Here’s why: [Read more…]

Nation’s #1 recruit, Shabazz Muhammad, narrows school choices down to four

shabazz-muhammad

The Nation’s #1 recruit, Shabazz Muhammad, will not be staying at home to play college basketball this fall. Cross UNLV off his list, as the Las Vegas native now has his own set of final four schools left remaining for his services.Two of them will be competing this Final Four weekend as Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, and UCLA remain in the mix.

On the day after he won the high school all-star week’s dunk competition, and on the eve of the McDonald’s All-American game, Muhammad talked about what each one has to offer.

[Read more…]

UCLA Basketball: a leaderless program in chaos, says SI report

ucla

The debate about whether or not UCLA Bruins head coach Ben Howland is on the hot seat is about to end. Now that a new Sports Illustrated study has been released, which profiles physical fighting between players, rampant alcohol and drug abuse, and most importantly, Howland’s aloof, hands-off approach, he may want to start enhancing his resume.

According to the AP, the past four years of UCLA players and coaches say that Howland:

[Read more…]

College Basketball’s Most Disappointing Teams This Season

xavier cincinnati fight

Since we have reached the unofficial midway point of the 2011-2012 college basketball season, we can begin to dissect which teams have gotten off to rather disappointing starts and are struggling as conference play has begun.  Here are some teams who have drastically underachieved and what has been the root of their problems.

[Read more…]

UCLA vs. Illinois: Brutally Honest Fight Hunger Bowl Preview

at&t-park

Ever since the bowl matchups were announced, everyone has picked on the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl for being the the worst matchup of them all. The New Year’s Eve game features not one but both teams playing under interim coaches because the regular head coach was recently canned.

And both teams made dubious “history” on the way here. Illinois comes in riding a six-game losing streak, after starting 6-0. Before the 2011 Illini, no team in FBS history had started 6-0 and finished 6-6. Their opponent is 6-7 UCLA, who required an NCAA waiver to compete in this game despite a losing record. So these traditional college basketball powers play in a college football game with a combined 12-13 record. Ack.

On top of that, UCLA has four players ineligible for the game, including backup quarterback Richard Brehaut. Illinois has two ineligible, including leading rusher Jason Ford.

[Read more…]

Illini Take on UCLA for the National Title!! in Women’s Volleyball

ucla-volleyball

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. the UCLA Bruins is a postseason match-up in the major sport for both women and men. You’ll see Illini vs. Bruins in both college football (Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco) and women’s volleyball. Except in the latter it’s “for all the Tostitos” (yeah I got sick from just saying that).

Colleen Ward and Michelle Bartsch led the Illini (32-4) in a five set upset win over the Bruins’ intra-city rival USC. They beat the 29-5 Trojans who lost in the semis in back to back years.

This is Illinois’ first semifinal in 23 years and first ever title game. They’ll take on UCLA on Saturday night in San Antonio’s Alamodome. It’s probably on ESPN2 but check local listings.

[Read more…]

Pac-12 Basketball Preview and Predictions

ucla hot cheerleaders

It’s still weird to write “Pac-12” but in the ever changing college sports landscape, the conference expanded with the additions of Colorado and Utah.  Those two schools won’t help the Pac-12 become a stronger conference during the 2011-2012 season, but the league should be slightly more competitive as a whole.

Here are my Pac-12 predictions for the 2011-2012 season.  Click on the school”s name for an in-depth breakdown of each team.

[Read more…]

#27 UCLA Bruins: College Basketball 111 in 111

hot ucla cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

With the addition of the Wear twins, the UCLA Bruins might have one of the deepest and most talented frontcourts in the country.  However, the early departures of Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee to the NBA leave questions in their backcourt and about how good they can be this season.

[Read more…]

College Football 77 in 77: #69 UCLA Bruins

ucla-cheerleader

As beautiful as the women and weather are in Westwood, California, that’s how ugly the passing game is. It’s unfathomable to think this college football program once produced Troy Aikman, Tommy Maddox, Cade McKnown, Jay Schroeder and Steve Bono when you consider the UCLA Bruins finished 116th in passing last year and 104th in scoring. The passing game was LAUGHABLY BAD.

So was the job security of the coaching staff. Bruins assistant coaches had a lot in common with “YouTube Sensation” Alexandra Wallace, the babe who posted idiotic racist Anti-Asian ramblings on in the internet a couple days after the tsunami in Japan.

Both were forced to leave UCLA after thoroughly showing the campus how much they suck at life.

By Paul M. Banks

alexandra-wallace-ucla-racist

[Read more…]