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UCLA: February 2008 Archives
This is from UCLA's release:
John Wooden, UCLA's legendary former basketball coach, is resting comfortably this evening in an area hospital. The name of the hospital is being withheld at the request of the family.
Coach Wooden, 97, is doing fine and has visited with family throughout the day, according to his daughter, Nan Muehlhausen.
Coach Wooden was hospitalized earlier today. He has a hairline fracture of his left wrist and a fractured left collarbone from a fall in his condo last night. He also hit his head, but a CT-scan of his head and neck were negative.
“Dad’s spirits are good,” Muehlhausen said. “He is up and joking around with the family. He will probably be in the hospital for a couple of more days before he goes home.”
“We appreciate everyone’s concern, but we are requesting that people do not call the hospital and do not try to visit Dad at this time.”
“The entire UCLA community wishes Coach Wooden a speedy recovery,” said UCLA head coach Ben Howland, who is in Tucson for Sunday’s game versus Arizona. “We are glad that his injuries are not more serious, and we look forward to seeing him when we return to Los Angeles.”
UCLA 70, Arizona State 49
UCLA center Chris Joseph has earned an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship, it was announced by the NCAA today. He is one of 58 NCAA student-athletes (29 men and 29 women) representing fall sports participants who will receive the one-time grant of $7,500.
Joseph, who started every game this past year at center after starting at guard as a junior, owns a 3.95 GPA at UCLA and is majoring in Geography. He earned first-team Academic All-America honors in both 2006 and 2007.
Joseph is the 63rd UCLA student-athlete to earn an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship and the 17th in the sport of football.
With two weeks remaining in the regular season, UCLA is among the seven teams realistically competing for four No. 1 seeds in next month's NCAA tournament. Here's a look at how the seven stack up:
Tennessee (24-2, 11-1 SEC)
North Carolina (26-2, 11-2 ACC)
Memphis (26-1, 12-0 C-USA)
UCLA (24-3, 12-2 Pac-10)
Texas (24-4, 11-2 Big 12)
Kansas (24-3, 9-3 Big 12)
Duke (23-3, 10-2 ACC)
UCLA WR Brandon Breazell ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at the combine, putting him in the Top 10 among WR's. Here is his Q&A, with a nice shout-out to one of his teammates who knocked him silly this season.
Q: Growing up, who was your favorite NFL player and why?
UCLA will do its pro day for NFL scouts on March 13 at 9 am.
UCLA 84, OREGON STATE 59
As if Oregon State didn't have enough problems heading into tonight's matchup with UCLA, now the hapless Beavers reportedly will be without two key players. Starting forward Marcel Jones and reserve Sean Carter will serve a one-game suspension tonight for their role in last week's confrontation with several Washington players during the Huskies shootaround in Corvallis, according to reports out of Oregon.
I ran into UCLA LB Christian Taylor -- one of my favorite athletes that I've covered -- on campus yesterday and saw that he finally had surgery on his torn right bicep, which he injured in the 2006 season but played a year and a half with it hurting.
Taylor said he had surgery shortly after the Las Vegas Bowl and that he was slated to get the brace off on Thursday. He said he will be unable to do any workouts for NFL teams this year and wasn't sure where this would leave his future.
Although if there was anybody on that team that would succeed and be happy with life after football, it may have been him. Something tells me he'll end up doing well in life regardless of what path he takes.
UCLA fullback Michael Pitre will participate in spring football, though it is unclear yet if he will play next year.
Pitre is applying for a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA after missing all but seven plays last year due to a bone bruise in his knee. He also missed his first season in the program because of a neck injury.
Rick Neuheisel said that the school may not know until late spring if Pitre is granted the extra year but that his understanding is that Pitre can do spring drills and work out with the team so long as the case is pending.
UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel said that tight end Scott Glicksberg, who played sparingly in a blocking role, would move to center to try and add depth at the interior line.
In talking to Rick Neuheisel on Tuesday, here are some injury updates....
He is optimistic that QB Pat Cowan (minor knee surgery last week) will be ready for spring ball.
RB Raymond Carter (torn ACL in August) should be cleared for non-contact work for spring ball.
RB Kahlil Bell is healing nicely and could be ready by fall camp.
WR Marcus Everett (ankle) should be able to do some spring ball.
In talking with UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel on Tuesday, I asked what type of offense he would run and he said he still hasn't put a name on it, but opted to call it "Chow-ball" and stressed the importance of a strong ground game.
I then asked if he and Norm Chow would be using something similar to what Chow used at USC, and Neuheisel said that it would bare a strong resemblance.
"I hope so," Neuheisel said. "I like the way that thing turned out."
Here is the story I wrote for today's print edition regarding Rick Neuheisel responding to the recent Seattle Times stories.
And here is a link to the homepage for the Seattle Times series. It's worth reading.
UCLA signees Malcolm Lee of Riverside North and Jrue Holiday of North Hollywood Campbell Hall were named McDonald's All-Americans.The game will be played on March 26th in Milwaukee, and televised by ESPN. Here's a look at the full rosters for both teams.
For the Pac-10 to get more than four or five NCAA berths, the selection committee is probably going to have to do something it hasn't done since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985: invite a Pac-10 team with a .500 record.
Arizona (16-9, 6-6) -- With an RPI of 16 bolstered by non-conference wins over Texas A&M, UNLV and Houston, the Wildcats seem pretty safe. Still, they would be wise to at least get to .500 in conference play by winning three of their final six games -- no easy task considering four of six are on the road and UCLA is one of the two home games. If Arizona goes into a late tailspin, would the selection committee take into account that three early losses came without Jerryd Bayless and all the late ones are without Nick Wise? In theory, it would, but that's a big risk.
UCLA 56, USC 46
With reserve guard Michael Roll still at least two weeks away from participating in any kind of basketball drills, UCLA coach Ben Howland said the junior is “very likely” to redshirt.
Quarterback Pat Cowan had surgery on Friday to repair a small piece of torn cartilage from his left knee and will begin rehabbing next week. Cowan's status for spring ball will be determined closer to the April 3 start date.
Here is the UCLA release....
Tim Hauck, who has spent the past four years of the staff at the University of Montana, has been hired as an assistant coach at UCLA, Bruin head coach Rick Neuheisel announced today. Hauck will assist defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker with the secondary.
“Tim was an outstanding college football player and enjoyed a long, productive career in the NFL,” said Neuheisel. “He has transitioned nicely into the coaching profession and will be a nice fit with DeWayne in the secondary. Our defensive backs will benefit from his experience as a player and a coach.”
During Hauck’s four years at his alma mater, Montana compiled a record of 43-10, making the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs all four years, including the title game in 2004.
This past season, Hauck coached the Montana secondary. The Grizzlies ranked 10th nationally in pass efficiency defense and allowed just eight touchdowns while making 17 interceptions en route to a record of 11-1. Strong safety Colt Anderson was named first-team All-Big Sky Conference.
In Hauck’s three previous seasons on staff (2004-2006), he worked exclusively with the safeties. In 2006, Anderson and free safety Torrey were named to the Big Sky Conference's first team. In 2005, brothers and safeties Torrey and Tyler Thomas were honorable mention selections.
Hauck, 41, played safety in the National Football League for 13 seasons, retiring in 2002. He originally signed with the New England Patriots as a free agent in 1990 and played for Green Bay, Seattle, Denver, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
A safety for the Grizzlies, Hauck earned first-team All-America honors in both 1988 and 1989. He was voted the Big Sky Conference's defensive MVP as a junior and a senior and he also was voted the recipient of Montana's Steve Carlson Award (MVP) those two seasons. He is the only player in school history to receive the Golden Helmet Award (“Hardest Hitter”) three times, winning it in 1987, 1988, and 1989. He earned his degree in Business Education in 1990.
Hauck is ranked third in Montana history with 305 career tackles in just three seasons at Montana. He's third in school history with 15 career interceptions. He began his college career at Pacific University in Oregon and was an all-conference pick there as a freshman.
Hauck (pronounced: Howk) prepped at Sweet Grass High School in Big Timber, MT and was an all-state quarterback and defensive back, playing for his dad, Bob Hauck Sr. His brother, Bobby Hauck, is the head coach at Montana. Bobby worked on Neuheisel’s staff at both Colorado and Washington and was a graduate assistant at UCLA while Neuheisel was an assistant coach.
Tim Hauck is a native of Butte, MT and was born on December 20, 1966.
UCLA’s Luc Richard Mbah a Moute has not been cleared for a full practice, but the versatile forward is still expected to be available Sunday at USC. Mbah a Moute participated in shooting drills on Wednesday and Thursday, and he is scheduled to partake in some full contact drills today.
Bob Connelly, who coached UCLA's offensive line last season, has been hired as the line coach and co-offensive coordinator at Texas-El Paso.
UCLA recruit Kevin Craft, who played at Mount San Antonio College last season, has been cleared to enroll at UCLA in the spring quarter and will participate in spring practice.
UCLA has hired Frank Gansz Jr as its new special teams coach. Here is the release from UCLA:
Frank Gansz Jr., who spent the last two seasons on the staff of the Baltimore Ravens, has been hired to coach Bruin special teams, UCLA head football coach Rick Neuheisel announced today.
“Frank is an outstanding addition to our staff,” said Neuheisel. “Any time you have the opportunity to hire someone who is considered among the best at what he does, you have to take advantage of it. Frank will be a tremendous asset to our special teams.”
Gansz, who has an extensive background at the professional and collegiate levels, was the special teams coordinator for the Ravens in 2006 and 2007, coaching with Neuheisel. In 2007, the Ravens placed ninth in the NFL in punt returns (9.7 yards) and 10th in the league in kickoff returns (23.5). In addition, place kicker Matt Stover made 27 of 32 field goals and all 26 PATs. His 27 field goals tied for 10th in the league.
In 2006, Stover led NFL kickers with a 93.3% conversion mark, making 28 of 30 field goals, and ranked fourth among all kickers with 121 points. He was named a first alternate for the Pro Bowl. In addition, linebacker Gary Stills led the NFL with 44 special teams tackles, the second most in NFL history, and was also named a Pro Bowl first alternate. Rookie punter Sam Koch produced just three touchbacks, 30 punts inside the 20 (fifth in NFL). He was second in the league with 12 punts inside the 10.
Gansz, 45, spent the previous five seasons (2001-05) as special teams coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs. During that span, Stills became the Chiefs’ all-time leader in special teams tackles (148) and Dante Hall was named to the Pro Bowl in both 2002 and ’03 as a kick returner and also led the NFL in most kicks for touchdowns (10, six on kickoffs and four on punts). Gansz-led units excelled in blocking punts and kicks, recording four blocked punts from 2001-02 and Kansas City batted away three field goals in two seasons (2002-03).
In 2005, the Chiefs’ special teams units ranked fourth in the NFL in average drive start (30.7) and eighth in the league with 1,591 kickoff return yards. Kicker Lawrence Tynes converted two 50-yard FGs for the second time in two years. Hall scored a TD on a kickoff for the fourth straight. In 2004, Hall scored two kickoff return touchdowns for the second straight year and Tynes made two 50-yard FGs in his first NFL season. Kansas City also set single-season franchise records in kickoff returns (75) and yardage (1,820).
In 2003, Gansz’s units excelled, leading the NFL with four special teams touchdowns, as Hall scored two kickoff returns and two punt returns for scores, en route to his second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance. Hall became the first player in NFL history to record a score on a kickoff returrn in four straight games. His touchdown in the divisional playoff game vs. Indianapolis gave him five overall returns on the season. Hall also broke a single-season franchise record with 2,446 combined net yards. Kansas City led the league in both punt return average (16.4) and kick return average (25.4), the first team to do so since Washington in 1995. The 16.4 punt return average broke a 43-year-old team record.
In Gansz’ second season with the Chiefs (2002), Hall scored on three kick returns (two punts and one kickoff) to earn his first pro bowl berth. In 2001, the Chiefs blocked two punts and partially blocked a third.
Prior to his tenure in Kansas City, he coached special teams for the Oakland Raiders for two seasons (1998 and 1999), tutoring standouts Desmond Howard, Darrien Gordon and Napoleon Kaufman. He was also coached in the 1999 Senior Bowl.
Gansz spent five seasons (1993-97) as tight ends and special teams coach at the University of Houston, setting a school record for kickoff return average in 1996. His units set another school record with an 87-yard punt return vs. SMU en route to the Conference-USA championship and a trip to the Liberty Bowl vs. Syracuse.
He spent one season (1992) with the New York/New Jersey Knights of the World League (NFL Europa).
Gansz spent two years (1990-91) as tight ends/special teams coach at West Point, two years at the University of Pittsburgh, coaching special teams and the offensive line in 1988 and special teams and the secondary in 1989, and one season (1987) as a graduate assistant at Kansas, working with the wide receivers.
Gansz was a four-year defensive back at The Citadel, graduating with a B.A. in history in 1985. He was born on August 8, 1962. His father, Frank Sr. coached 24 years in the NFL, including two as head coach of the Chiefs (1987-88). He was also an assistant coach at UCLA (1976 and 1977).
Five of UCLA’s last nine opponents have shot over 45 percent from the field, a statistic that’s especially galling to a Ben Howland-coached team that prides itself on its defensive excellence.
Here are the dates for UCLA's spring practice. They are subject to change and times will be announced at a later date. All practices are open to the public.
Week One – April 3, April 4 and April 5.
This is from UCLA:
UCLA junior forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who is no longer wearing a boot, but is wearing an air cast on his left ankle, is probable for Sunday's game at USC (Feb. 17).
For those still irate over the facial Tim Morris delivered to Alfred Aboya in the final minute of Sunday's game, here's the Washington senior's reaction to the play, according to the Seattle Times.
Even after falling into a first-place tie with Stanford today, UCLA seems to still be in the drivers seat in the Pac-10 title chase thanks to its road victory in Palo Alto last month. The Cardinal have one more road game remaining than the Bruins, and they still must come to Westwood to play UCLA during the final weekend of conference play. Here's a look at the remaining schedules for both teams:
Stanford (20-3, 9-2)
I wrote a story today about UCLA's interest in LSU signee J'Mison Morgan, a coveted 6-foot-11 center who, according to his AAU coach, is considering asking for a release from his letter of intent following the dismissal of longtime Tigers coach John Brady. Here's more information on the process Morgan would have endure to try to free himself from the letter of intent he signed:
The basic penalty for not fulfilling the terms of his letter of intent to LSU would require Morgan to sit out the 2008-09 season and forfeit a year of eligibility. That penalty could be eliminated, however, if Morgan asks for and receives a release from LSU.
With LSU's program in disarray following the firing of longtime coach John Brady on Friday, you might be wondering how this affects J'Mison Morgan, the coveted 6-foot-11 center who signed with the Tigers over UCLA, Alabama and Kansas in November.
Here's one tidbit that didn't make it into my story on Russell Westbrook's emergence from this morning's paper.
Starting UCLA's season opener in place of Darren Collison was a very special moment for Westbrook, who wondered as a seldom-used freshman whether he would ever be able to gain Coach Ben Howland's trust.
I always think it's interesting to see who Vegas thinks are the favorites to win the NCAA title and how those odds change over the course of the season.
Other Notable teams
If you think UCLA is thin in the backcourt, check out the news from Tucson today. Nic Wise, Arizona's lone true point guard, will miss at least the next three weeks after having knee surgery today.
With UCLA set to begin the second half of the Pac-10 season Thursday night, it's time for some midseason grades. Here's a look at my evaluations of UCLA's 11 scholarship players:
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
Three days before embarking on one of its most difficult road trips of the season, fifth-ranked UCLA learned it will be without one of its most versatile defenders.
New football coach Rick Neuheisel was just interviewed by Erin Andrews on ESPN during the UCLA-Arizona basketball game. Apparently, Neuheisel introduced his coordinators at halftime of the game and told the crowd "We're going to get after those asses across town."
Andrews asked him about it, using the word "behind" instead and Neuheisel said "I wish I would have said it that way" while smiling and referring to USC.
"Obviously they are a great program and they've been on top of this Pac-10 Conference for a long time and it's not like we can act like they are not there. They are the elephant in the room and it's time to go after them."
Neuheisel also made sure to give credit to Karl Dorrell for putting the class together, something he has done since he was hired.
I caught the second half of ESPN's College GameDay broadcast from Pauley Pavilion, and I must admit I was surprised at the student turnout. For a Saturday morning show that began 10 hours before tipoff, nearly filling one side of the bleachers was pretty impressive.
X-rays taken Thursday night on Lorenzo Mata-Real's left wrist were negative and an MRI revealed no signifcant damage, according to UCLA coach Ben Howland. Though Mata-Real still may be too sore to play on Saturday against Arizona, his wrist shouldn't be a longterm issue.
UCLA 84, ARIZONA STATE 51
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