Tag: UCLA Bruins

TJ Leaf (adidas)

Five-star forward T.J. Leaf commits to UCLA

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UCLA continued its pipeline to the Compton Magic grassroots program on Thursday as talented five-star forward T.J. Leaf committed to the Bruins during a televised announcement.

The 6-foot-10 Leaf becomes the third member of UCLA’s Class of 2016 to come from the Magic and two more Class of 2017 UCLA commitments are also from the storied AAU program.

A former Arizona commit, Leaf is a very skilled forward who can hit jumpers from all over and also put the ball on the floor a little bit. Regarded as the No. 15 overall prospect in the national class, Leaf picked UCLA over his other finalists of Oregon and San Diego State.

During 12 games with the Magic this spring and summer, Leaf averaged 21 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Leaf joins five-star point guard Lonzo Ball, four-star big man Ike Anigbogu and three-star guard Kobe Paras in the Bruins’ Class of 2016.

UCLA freshman Aaron Holiday making strong early impression

Aaron Holiday
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UCLA opened its exhibition play last night with a big win over Cal State Los Angeles as freshman guard Aaron Holiday made a positive first impression.

The younger brother of former Bruin star guard Jrue Holiday, Aaron made an impact on Friday night as he started alongside Bryce Alford in the backcourt and finished with 16 points and five steals in a 95-57 win.

A former four-star prospect, Holiday entering the starting lineup and defending at a high level is a very positive sign for UCLA because it could allow for the Bruins to put Alford on the weaker offensive player when they switch to defense.

While the speed of the game still made Holiday turn the ball over a little too much, if he can play the passing lanes and create offense for UCLA it will be a huge help for their starting five.

Replacing departed senior Norman Powell will be a tough task for head coach Steve Alford this season but he’s hoping a combination of Holiday and another freshman guard, Prince Ali, can help fill that void.


Report: Former UCLA adviser alleges academic wrongdoing

Steve Alford
Associated Press
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Sunday evening The Chronicle for Higher Education published an article in which former academic adviser at UCLA accused an assistant coach of requesting that he change a player’s grade in order to ensure that the player would remain eligible.

Will Collier, who left his position as the academic coordinator for men’s basketball in January, discussed this and many other issues that he found while working at the Pac-12 school. According to the story UCLA has vehemently denied the allegations, also noting that Collier made mistakes while on the job.

Current assistant coach Duane Broussard is named as the assistant who came up with the plan of getting the player’s grade changed, with Broussard denying the allegation according to The Chronicle.

Mr. Collier, 33, who had just completed his first year on the job, contacted Duane Broussard, an assistant coach and the team’s academic liaison. The player, Mr. Collier explained, had received a C-minus in a communications class but needed a B to participate in team activities. The assistant coach, according to Mr. Collier, proposed a plan: Approach the professor about changing the player’s grade.

That wasn’t the reaction Mr. Collier had expected, not at UCLA, whose storied tradition and reputation for high academic standards he had long revered. When he took the job here, he was aware that the university, like many others, admitted players with academic deficiencies. But he believed that, with the right motivation and support, he could help them succeed.

Collier kept records of his work while at UCLA according to The Chronicle, noting issues with player attendance in regards to both classes and academic advising sessions. But UCLA has denied any wrongdoing, and it remains to be seen if this is something the NCAA would consider looking into.

In recent months stories regarding possible academic wrongdoing have been written about the basketball programs at North Carolina (currently under NCAA investigation), Texas and SMU (recently punished by the NCAA).