In light of UCLA’s basketball season officially starting this Friday night, I decided to combine what’s up with the Bruins in football this week with what’s up with the Bruins in hoops.
Let’s check out football first…
So far at Spaulding Field on campus this week, safety Tony Dye and quarterback Richard Brehaut, according to the Los Angeles Times, have returned to practice, but it’s clear that they are not 100% as Dye is wearing a red jersey, meaning no contact, and Brehaut is “…noticably limping…”
Meanwhile Dietrich Riley, who was feared paralyzed in the game against California, has not been cleared as of yet as “He is being checked for what he needs to do to get himself back into playing condition,” coach Rick Neuheisel commented.
It’s safe to say that Dye, Brehaut and Riley will not be ready to play in Salt Lake City against Utah this Saturday.
And speaking of Utah…
According to the Times’ UCLA writer Chris Foster, Norm Chow is taking the high road as far as facing the team that employed him as their offensive coordinator under much fanfare in 2008, and fired him with that same fanfare three years later.
Chow apparently doesn’t really care that his Utes are playing against a, in Foster’s words, “past paycheck”, saying “It’s another game that these guys have to win to be bowl eligible…”
For someone who has decades of experience and success at different schools, including helping to win national titles at USC in 2004 and BYU in 1984, the fact that Chow sees this match against the Bruins as just another important game doesn’t surprise me.
In another development, the kickoff time for the Bruins’ final home game against Colorado has been set. Like the Arizona State game, it will be at 4:30 p.m. and be televised by Versus.
OK, on to what’s happening with basketball…
According to the L.A. Times and Ben Bolch, their beat guy for Bruin hoops, coach Ben Howland said that he plans to have center Josh Smith come off the bench, much like last year, to “…avoid picking up fouls at a time when referees like to set the tone”, Bolch wrote.
As Smith had some foul trouble in quite a few games last year, that’s a good idea; the plan is to have him enter the game early in the first half, which he did in the recent exhibition against Cal State San Bernadino.
He ended up with a game-high 26 points aaginst the Coyotes, so Howland must be onto something.
Smith, who along with Reeves Nelson has been named for the Naismith Award’s Preseason Watch List, plans to spell Travis Wear and/or Anthony Stover, whoever may be starting in that particular game.
Other hoops news…
UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero has announced that there will be shuttle buses for fans to attend all the Bruins’ games at the Sports Arena and the Honda Center in Anaheim this year.
The shuttles will leave the parking lot of Jackie Robinson Stadium, UCLA’s baseball facility, two hours before tipoff (three hours before the Arizona game on January 9th) and will cost $16 per person, though parking at Jackie Robinson Stadium will be free.
To order spots on the shuttle in advance, go to www.uclabruins.com for more information.