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Q&A with Bruin Guard Ryan Bailey
By: UCLA Athletics
Big-game hunting, mounted trophies and the cartoon character, Bullwinkle. All of these bring to mind one thing, a moose. At UCLA, Ryan "Moose" Bailey is one of the three captains and leaders on this year's Bruin squad. In his final season at UCLA, he is out to make a name for himself on a team that he has helped in many ways during his three years at UCLA. This year, "Moose" is out to do some big-game hunting of his own.

How did you get the nickname "Moose"?
I really don't know how I got the nickname. But, when I was really little, I used to play football with my brother. He was 6 and I was probably 3 or 4. The rest of the kids were probably 6 to 8 years old. I was always the littlest kid on the team. I was so little out there that my father gave me the name Moose so that I would feel bigger. It's stuck ever since.

How does it feel to be one of this year's captains?
When Coach Lavin told me I was one of the captains, it touched me because it's my senior year and it's something that you work for your entire life. Growing up in LA, you dream about playing for UCLA. Then, to become a captain is icing on the cake.

What are your personal and team goals for this season?
Personally, I just want to have a good season. This is my last season and I just want to go out on a good note. All of my personal goals tie in with the team goals. If we do well as a team, it really doesn't matter how good of a senior year I have, as far as statistics are concerned. As long as we go far in the tournament, and hopefully win it, and have a good year as a team, that's what matters the most to me.

After winning the game against North Carolina on your free throws, what are your expectations for the game against them this year?
My expectation is another win. It's hard to put yourself in a position like last year's. Thinking back on that game and how the game ended on those two free throws, one of them a bank shot, it's exciting for me just to think about it. Being in a position like that in front of 20, 000 people and winning the game against a team that you grow up watching on TV was a dream come true. Hopefully, I can be in that same position again this year.

Do you feel that you've made a name for yourself in the UCLA basketball program?
The two free throws against North Carolina proved that I have made a name for myself. So many people watched that game and I've gotten so many calls and letters from people who were glad that we won. It's been tough following my brother [Bruin standout Toby Bailey] who started all four years and won a national championship. He led by example and I'm following him and playing just as hard as he did. But, I think that I have made a name for myself.

Why did you choose to leave Penn State and come to UCLA?
I chose to leave Penn State in order to be around my family. Penn State was good because I got a lot of minutes, but it just wasn't me. I'm from LA and I wanted to get back. I wanted to get into the Pac-10. The offenses are more of a run and gun style, which I've played my entire life. The Big 10 is more about half-court offense and getting the ball into the low post. Getting back in the Pac-10, there are offenses, but there are also more opportunities to improvise and show your stuff.

Who has influenced you the most in terms of basketball?
My biggest influences are my father and brother. My father put my brother and me in basketball, but my brother has really kept me going. Seeing him do so well and accomplish so many things has made me strive to do the things that he's done and get to where he's been. He has definitely influenced me the most.

Who have you styled your play after?
Growing up, I've always watched Jason Kidd. He was my favorite player while I was growing up. He does all of the little things on the court, gets steals, makes assists, makes big plays, and he plays hard. I try to style my game after him, but with a little more offensive continuity and flair. He's the person that I've styled my play after more than anyone else.

As you look back on your UCLA career, what are your fondest memories?
The friendships that I've made with my teammates and the people that I've met around the school are my fondest memories. I've met a lot of really good people around here. It's been an incredible experience, not only basketball-wise, but socially, too. Overall, UCLA has been a really good experience for me.

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