INSIDE THE PARKER

March 21st, 2015

wash15bb225tpTony Parker parks the Bruins in the Sweet 16 — Tony touches ‘em all, with a career-high 28 Points, plus 12 Rebounds and 3 Blocks, as UCLA scores 50 Points in the Paint to whip UAB 92-75, and to prove once again the Bruins are better when they go inside

Sure Bryce Alford can stroke it from outside.  And on occasion, so can Norman Powell, Isaac Hamilton, and even Kevon Looney and Gyorgy Goloman. But UCLA is clearly at its best when they pound the ball inside as a first priority, and dominate the paint.  And that’s exactly the strategy Coach Steve Alford dialed up against the UAB Blazers, and it worked perfectly.

Tony Parker was coming off a horrendous game against SMU, so Alford wanted to get him going today, So Bryce Alford and company kept feeding the beast, to the tune of NINETEEN first half points for Parker.  The Bruins slowly worked the margin up, despite a plethora of made three-pointers by the Blazers, which were allowed by slow close-outs by the Bruins on Defense.  But the UCLA Offense was clicking, with Parker on the inside, Alford on the outside, Looney (and Thomas Welsh) on the Offensive Boards, and Hamilton driving to the hoop.

The Bruins built a Read the rest of this entry »

(GOAL)TENDER MERCIES

March 19th, 2015

Bryce’s Brick Burns Brown’s Boys — After carrying the team with a barrage of made three-pointers, Bryce Alford heaves up a near-airball on UCLA’s final possession, when an SMU player touches it for a 3-point Goaltending call giving the Bruins a 1-point lead; Mustang fans and their Coach Larry Brown will complain, but Kevon Looney had the rebound for an easy game-tying putback (if no Goaltending call had been made), plus, SMU missed two open shots in the final seconds to cement the loss

Two things are always certain in March Madness:  Upsets and controversy.  On Thursday, the UCLA/SMU game supplied both.  The 11th  seeded (and 3-point underdog) Bruins upended the 6th-seeded Mustangs 60-59, on a Goaltending call that will be debated for a long time.  Of course, one play — or one call — does not cause a team to lose.  Rather, it is a whole 40-minute game that determines who will come out on top.

The Bruins controlled the contest for most of the game, behind the Offense of Norman Powell and the hot three-point shooting of Bryce Alford.  While Tony Parker struggled inside on Offense, the Bruins had to rely on Alford, who made 9 of 11 three’s on his way to 27 points.  The Bruins led by 4 at the half 34-30, and built the margin up to 10 after the intermission, holding SMU to 1-of-12 shooting to start out the second half.  But then the Bruins went into a serious funk, getting outscored NINETEEN-TO-ZERO, as SMU made 7 straight shots.  The remarkable spurt had the Mustangs up by 9, with 4:30 to go in the game, and things looked bleak for UCLA.  But the Bruins did not quit.  Powell scored on a driving lay-up to break the streak, then Alford hit two more three’s to cut the deficit to 3.  With 1:28 left, after an SMU bucket, with the Bruins down by 5, Powell dribbled the ball off his foot, leading to a breakaway for the Mustangs.  So, the Bruins were down by 7 with 85 seconds left.  Talk about “bleak!!”

But Alford came back with yet another three, Thomas Welsh blocked a shot, and then Powell got fouled.  Norman calmly swished both Free Throws (giving him 19 points for the game), and then, with 26 seconds left, SMU committed an unforced Turnover, setting up the controversial play.  Steve Alford called the Bruins’ “Quick Play,” but the Defense stopped it, so Bryce went around a screen and hurled up a horrible prayer over a double-team and a long, outstretched arm.  The ball had NO CHANCE of going in the hoop.  AT BEST, it had a slight chance of grazing the outside of the right side of the rim.  But before it got a chance to hit or miss the rim, an SMU player tipped the ball, drawing a CORRECT Goaltending call.  The awarded three points put the Bruins in the lead at 60-59, with 13 seconds left.

People are going to go ballistic over this crucial call, because Read the rest of this entry »

DANCE LIKE NO ONE WAS WATCHING

March 15th, 2015

Depsite a questionable résumé, a lack of signature wins, and a bevy of pundits predicting exclusion, UCLA gets invited to The Big Dance as an 11th Seed, and will play Larry Brown’s SMU in Louisville on Thursday, thanks to the Bruins’ steady improvement throughout the season, ultra-competitive game against Arizona, and possibly the glamour factor of being the one and only “UCLA”

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The so-called experts said it wasn’t in the cards this year.  Many UCLA fans felt like the Bruins were deservedly NIT-bound.  Even the ESPN bracket guru said UCLA doesn’t belong.  But the Selection Committee ignored all that nonsense, and rightfully returned UCLA to the NCAA Tournament for the third year in a row, and 4th out of 5.

UCLA made it in to the South Region as an 11 Seed, and will face the 6-seed SMU Mustangs, who are coached by former Bruin coach Larry Brown.  The Mustangs are making their first March Madness appearance in 22 years, and have only faced the Bruins twice before, losing both times, the last time in 1976.

SMU’s star player is a 5’9″ Point Guard who won their Conference Player of the Year Award, and that edge at Point Guard is one reason the ‘Stangs are starting as a 3-point favorite in the game.  SMU is 27-6 on the year, but is hardly invincible — Against Western Programs that Bruin fans are somewhat familiar with, SMU had to go to overtime to beat UC Santa Barbara, and got pounded by Gonzaga in a 16-point loss.

So the Bruins are in a terrific position — Read the rest of this entry »

GIMME HAM ON FIVE AND HOLD THE MAYO’S

March 12th, 2015

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Ham Slams the Shams — Isaac Hamilton has a career day with 36 points including 7 three-pointers, as UCLA destroys troy 96-70, making it SIX straight (NINE straight including Football) over a school whose only recent Basketball headline was a claim to shame, when O.J “Pay-o to Play-o” Mayo was caught holding the ($$$) bag

WHAM, BAM, THANK YOU HAM!!!

Send out the clowns!!!  U$C’s Basketball season is over, mercifully for all twelve of their die-hard fans, as UCLA has dispatched them from the Pac-12 Tourney with a decisive 96-70 beatdown.  That’s a 3-and-oh SWEEP against the crosstown rivals, by an average of 18 points per game.  So ends the second straight disastrous season for the trojans and their head coach Andy Enfield, who famously declared, in a not-so-thinly veiled slam at UCLA, that if you want to play fast, come to usc.  I guess he left out:  “But if you want to tattoo 96 points on your arch rival and win by 26, go to UCLA.”

UCLA will now face Arizona on Friday night, in a game where they would be underdogs even at full strength, but HUGE underdogs if forced to play without Freshman phenom Kevon Looney, who took an elbow to the face in the first half Thursday, and did not return to action.

With Looney on the bench, and with Bruin leader Norman Powell in foul trouble, you would think that the trojans, who had just beaten ASU with a 21-4 finishing flurry, would have an excellent chance of competing with UCLA, especially after establishing an early 13-10 lead.  But Isaac Hamilton took care of that.  The Bruins used a 14-0 spurt and soon thereafter a 9-0 spurt to take command of the game, as Read the rest of this entry »

TROJAN-8-ERS CLUB

March 5th, 2015


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We’ve got ‘em behind the 8-ball — Bruins Beat$C handily 85-74 behind huge nights from Tony Parker and Bryce Alford, making it EIGHT STRAIGHT beatings of the trojans in the two major sports

Eight is not enough… but it’s a damn good start!  With Wednesday night’s 85-74 beatdown of troy in Basketball, UCLA has now beaten sc 5 straight times on the Hardwood — by an average of about 16 points a game — and 9 times out of 10.  And if you add those 5 straight to the 3 straight in Football — also all by comfortable margins — that’s 8 straight triumphs over that Clown College across town in the two big revenue-producing sports.

Two years ago, UCLA and u$c each got new Basketball Head Coaches, and the trojans actually procured the much splashier hire, snatching Andy Enfield fresh off a miracle Final Four appearance with a small, unheard of school.  Enfield immediately shot his mouth off in the Press, telling recruits if they want to play exciting ball, to come to u$c instead of UCLA.  Well, after two seasons, Enfield is 0-4 against Steve Alford and UCLA.  Not only that, but last night’s whipping stuffed the trojans into LAST PLACE in the Pac-12.  It also clinched 4th place for UCLA, which earns them a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament.

The game at Pauley Pavilion on Wednesday night was actually a lot closer than expected.  You have to give lowly sc a lot of credit for fighting back from an early 18-point first half deficit.  The trojans had the margin at only 8 with less than 8 minutes to go in the game, before the Bruins expanded the lead to 16, to win handily.

The last few games it’s been Senior Norman Powell leading the way for the Bruins, but last night, on Senior Night, Read the rest of this entry »

TREASURE, I LAND (AND IT’S NOT A MIRAGE)

March 1st, 2015

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ARELI BIG SHOW — 11 days before their Vegas trip, UCLA Spirit hits the jackpot with a lavish party emceed by Areli, that strikes gold for the squad… and for me, as I win a raffle for a Basketball autographed by Steve Alford and the 2015 Basketball team, plus 4 Bruin shirts

I’ve heard of “losing your shirt” in Vegas, but how about winning 4 shirts?  What a night in Westwood!  On this night, the dress is Blue and Gold, but if you look hard, you’ll see green (not gold & white or black & blue).

The annual UCLA Spirit Squad All-Access Reception fundraiser was held in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday evening, and as always when Mollie is involved, it was a complete success.  Not only was it fun for all, but most importantly, it was lucrative for the Squad.  Funds raised at this event will go to travel, uniforms, and staff salaries, all necessities in the effort to remain the World’s Elite Cheerleaders.

The reception featured a Silent Auction and an Opportunity Drawing, with prizes that included a Football autographed by Coach Jim Mora, to tickets to a Bruin Basketball game, to a Hello Kitty Prize Package, to ride-alongs with Firemen or Sheriffs, to a Basketball signed by the 2015 Bruins (which I won!), to Babysitting by the Cheerleaders.  I would have put ALL my raffle tickets in the babysitting jar, if only I had a baby.

Even if attendees weren’t interested in winning prizes (?!), there were lots of other things to do — like enjoying the free and free-flowing alcohol, which included Vodka Lemonade and Vodka Cranberry.  I had one of each and Read the rest of this entry »

MEET CUTE; NEAT LOOT

February 27th, 2015

ariz14fb475bCome meet the UCLA Cheerleaders in person and win exciting, big-ticket prizes this Saturday (2/28) from 4p to 7p in Pauley Pavilion; Bruin stars (of the past, present, and future) Tyus Edney, Myles Jack, Paul Perkins, Jerry Neuheisel, Norman Powell, Tony Parker, Josh Rosen, and Baseball Coach John Savage are all scheduled to be there too, for you to talk to one-on-one

Wanna personally thank Tyus Edney for his unforgettably legendary play that led UCLA to the 1995 Basketball National Championship?  Wanna personally thank Coach Savage for delivering a Baseball National Championship to Westwood?  Wanna personally thank Jerry Neuheisel for his clutch performance in beating Texas IN Texas last year?  Wanna give your sage, expert advice to current Bruin stars that will lead them to their own National Championships?  Or do you just wanna meet the hottest (yet smartest) girls in the world, in a casual, fun environment?

Then this Saturday (tomorrow) is the day for you.  The Annual UCLA Spirit Squad All-Access Reception is being held in Pauley Pavilion from 4p to 7p, and is open to the public.  It is a fundraiser, so there is an Read the rest of this entry »

MIGHTY MORPHIN POWELL RANGERS

February 26th, 2015

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The Bruins’ morphin’ releases endorphins — Led by superhero Norman Powell and his sidekicks Tony Parker and Isaac Hamilton,  UCLA morphs into a dominant team, and eradicates the supervillian Huskies 88-66, inhibiting the transmission of pain signals from the 2-game losing streak

Ever heard of “Scrubbing Bubbles?”  Well, on Wednesday night, UCLA — who is on the bubble for inclusion in the NCAA Tournament, polished up their bubble résumé a tiny bit, by pounding the Dawgs, 88-66.  This game was NEVER in doubt, as the Bruins exploded out of the gate with a 19-5 blitz, then led by as many as 31 before cruising home with a 22-point victory.

At the start, it was Tony Parker on fire, as he came back from one of his worst weeks in recent memory, to thoroughly dominate the paint against the Huskies.  It seemed like UCLA went inside to him almost every time down the floor, and with the excellent position he was getting, he was able to power his way to the hoop for several early buckets.  Parker finished with 20 points, but on this night, that was not enough to garner high-scorer honors.  That title belonged to Norman Powell, who was also able to exploit the Huskies’ suspect interior defense, to get to the hoop for repeated inside scores.  Powell finished with 24 points, including one power dunk and an even better dunk off an alley-ooo pass from Bryce Alford.  Bryce scored only 7 points on 2-for-6 shooting, but he did have 7 Assists, and once again, the Bruins look like a more effective team when Bryce passes more than he shoots.

Usually, 7 Assists would lead the team, but again, this was not a typical Bruin game.  Since they played more TEAM ball, the Assists were plentiful, and it was Isaac Hamilton who dished out TEN dimes!  I-Ham also added 16 points, for a rare double-double.  When Hamilton plays up to his potential like this, Read the rest of this entry »

A LEAGUE THAT WE OWN

February 16th, 2015

Bruins are best of the best — Russell Westbrook’s record-setting performance in the NBA All-Star Game nets him the MVP Award, after rookie Zach Lavine stuffs all the competition on his way to claiming the Slam Dunk Championship

Two NBA Trophies, two UCLA recipients.  This weekend, besides being Valentine’s Day Weekend, President’s Day Weekend, SNL 40th Anniversary Weekend, and 50 Shades of Grey Premiere Weekend, it was also NBA All-Star Weekend.  And with the greatest stars of the NBA all gathered at Madison Square Garden in New York, it was two Bruins rising — literally — above all the rest.

In the prestigious annual Slam Dunk Contest, it was Bruin Zach Lavine wowing the crowd and all his fellow all-stars, with mind-boggling displays of athleticism and dexterity, including a behind-the-back ball move while in mid-air culminating with a wicked slam.  Lavine’s near-perfect overall score gave him the easy victory over the also-impressive Victor Oladipo and all other contestants.

On Sunday, it was time for the main event, and UCLA’s Russell Westbrook dominated.  Despite not starting,  Westy scored an all-time record for a half 27 points in the first half, on his way to 41 for the game, in only 26 minutes of playing time! Read the rest of this entry »

JANE THE VERSION: 2012

February 13th, 2015

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Buried Treasure — Three years ago I had the honor of taking photos of the UCLA Dance Team’s beautiful Jane at the Miss Teen CaliforniaUSA Pageant, but I didn’t know it was her until just now

I always knew that the UCLA Spirit Squad is made up of the most beautiful girls in California (and in the World), and now I have some more proof.  In 2012, the UCLA Dance Team’s Jane made the Finals of the Miss Teen CaliforniaUSA pageant, and just by total coincidence, I was there to photograph it.  Even as an Official Judge on the UCLA Spirit Squad Selection Committee that twice voted Jane onto the Dance Team, I had no idea that I had seen her before, let alone snapped 30 lovely photographs of her.

In early 2012, I traveled all the way to Palm Desert, to support former UCLA Dance Teamer Katie (Wee) Keefe, who during that weekend made the Finals of the Miss CaliforniaUSA Pageant.  Little did I know that when the gorgeous Miss Teen La Habra took the stage, I was seeing a future Bruin Dance Team member!

How did I just find out?  Well, the UCLA Spirit Squad — whom you should be following on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — has decided to start sharing with the public some slices of their members’ lives OUTSIDE of the squad.  Today they featured Jane, competing in this prestigious 2012 event, and honoring her for making the Finals — The Top 20 of the more than 200 contestants.

The photos they posted looked hauntingly familiar, and then it hit me like a ton of pompons — I had taken practically the exact same photos!  So I searched my vast photo archives, and found 30 shots that included Jane.  In some she is just in the background, but in many she is fully featured.  I have included all 30 in this article for Read the rest of this entry »

WHAT IT MEMES TO BE PETE CARROLL

February 2nd, 2015

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All the Pete Carroll memes fit to print — It’s just the memes to an end:  The end of all this ass-kissing and adulation of Pete the Cheat Carroll, who was once again exposed on the biggest stage, at the most crucial time

The whole world is jumping all over Pete Carroll, for approving the worst play call in the history of Sports (topping his own call against Texas in a BCS Championship game), and here are just a few of the top memes calling him out…

Read the rest of this entry »

PETE THE CHEAT IS PETE THE CHOKE!!!!!

February 1st, 2015

Beastly arrogant Pete Carroll idiotically calls a pass on the one-yard line while Marshawn Lynch watches, and the Patriots intercept it to clinch the Super Bowl!!!!

Seattle had it won.  Even after choking away a 10-point lead in the 4th quarter, they got a miracle catch in the final minute, and all they had to do is hand the ball off to Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch for an easy one-yard TD, but Pete Carroll’s Seahawks inexplicably decided to throw a pass.  And as the ball was picked off at the goal line, Carroll’s smug smirk was wiped off his face, and the Patriots had the win 28-24.

Carroll’s f*ck-up will live on in Super Bowl Infamy as the stupidest call in Super Bowl History, just like his screw up the BCS Title game against Texas will be equally remembered as monumentally DUMB.

Pete Carroll — The only Coach to personally throw away a Super Bowl and A BCS Title game via arrogance and sheer stupidity.  What a legacy

ROTFLMAO.

P. S. Of course the thug mentality that Carroll proudly cultivates led to a classless poor-loser sour grapes ugly brawl at the end of the game.  What else would you expect from this group of Pete’s disciples?