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Word From Westwood - Feb. 5, 2013
By: UCLA Athletics

Word From Westwood

Word From Westwood - Deliver to Inbox

Feb. 5, 2013

This Wednesday (Signing Day), the Bruin family will get a glimpse of what the future will bring to Westwood. UCLA will welcome an ambitious group of young men and women who have worked hard to fulfill their dreams to become the best among their peers. They will join a group of phenomenal student-athletes already blazing a trail of success here on campus. The winter sports are in the hunt for conference and national titles, and spring sports, including softball and baseball, will begin play shortly.

Thousands Expected at Signing Day Celebration -- RSVPs Still Being Accepted
If you aren't already one of the thousands of Bruin football fans registered to attend Wednesday's UCLA Football Signing Day celebration, presented by UCLA Athletics and the Wooden Athletic Fund, do it NOW

Jim Mora and the UCLA Football coaching staff and current team will join with all attendees to celebrate an extremely talented and exciting 2013 football recruiting class in Pauley Pavilion. Doors open at 6:15 pm, and the speaking program will begin at 7:30 pm, so please plan accordingly.

Due to NCAA recruiting restrictions, high school students cannot be admitted.

In case you may have missed it, please check out this Ken Norris and the rest of our video department.

Season Ticket Renewals to Hit Inboxes This Week
All football and men's basketball season ticket holders will receive their renewal notification from the Central Ticket Office via email later this week. The home football schedule has already been announced and will feature six games at the Rose Bowl, while the men's basketball home schedule will be finalized and announced later this year.

All season ticket holders who renew in the month of February will have payment deferred until July 1. All questions regarding renewals should be directed to the Central Ticket Office at 310-UCLA-WIN (825-2946).

Men's Basketball Hosts Washington Schools This Week
After its first full week off, the UCLA men's basketball team (16-6, 5-3) returns to Pauley Pavilion to host the Washington schools. The Huskies come calling first, Thursday at 6 pm in a game televised by ESPN; followed by the Cougars on Saturday, at 7 pm (Pac-12 Networks). Ben Howland and his team have yet to face either opponent this season.

Excitement Thursday night will also be high for the jersey retirement of UCLA legend and basketball pioneer Don Barksdale. Barksdale broke the color barrier multiple times as the first African-American NCAA All-American (1947), the first to make the U.S. Olympic team (1948), and the first to play in a NBA All-Star game.

In addition, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last year, along with Jamaal Wilkes and Reggie Miller. Barskdale, who passed away in 1993, will have his # 11 UCLA jersey raised to the rafters, after the same honor was bestowed upon both Wilkes and Miller earlier this season. Members of the Barksdale family will be on hand for the special halftime ceremony.

Tickets remain on sale for each of these games, please click here or call the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310-UCLA-WIN.

Women's Basketball Takes Win Streak on the Road
After winning their last four games, all played in Pauley Pavilion, the women's basketball team heads to the Great Northwest for the weekend.

The Bruins (17-4, 8-2 in the Pac-12) will play at Washington Friday night at 7 pm and then visit Pullman at noon on Sunday. Both games can be followed on internet radio at

The Bruins' next home stand will feature the annual Dads and Daughters Day on Sunday, February 17, in conjunction with the UCLA-Stanford game that day. For just $10 per person, fans get a ticket to a father-daughter-only pregame fair, a game ticket and a commemorative t-shirt. For more information or to order tickets, please click here.

Olympic Sports Report

  • The #2-ranked UCLA women's tennis team had just one match last week, downing UC Irvine, 5-2 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center to improve to 3-0 on the year. The Bruins have one of their biggest competitions of the season this week, as the team heads to the University of Virginia for the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors. UCLA is the defending champions of the event.
  • The #3-ranked UCLA men's tennis team posted wins over BYU and Fresno State last week. The BYU match was part of ITA Kick-Off Weekend, and the UCLA win qualified the team for the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors later this month. The Bruins host three matches this week, starting with San Diego on Tuesday and ending with Pac-12 rivals Stanford and Cal on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
  • The #3-ranked women's water polo team (11-1) placed second at the Stanford Invitational after falling to two-time defending NCAA Champion and current No. 1 Stanford, 8-5, in the title game. The Bruins defeated three ranked teams to get to the championship game - No. 11 Hawai'i (12-7), No. 4 California (7-4), and No. 14 Indiana (9-5). The Bruins return to action this week when they host Cal Lutheran in their 2013 home opener at Spieker Aquatics Center on Saturday at 1 pm.
  • The #4-ranked gymnastics team defeated Stanford 196.925-196.200 in a road meet over the weekend, led by senior Vanessa Zamarripa's seventh career perfect 10 on vault and winning all-around score of 39.675. The Bruins return home on Sunday, Feb. 10 for a quad meet, hosting Washington, UC Davis and Sacramento State in Pauley Pavilion at 2 pm.
  • The #4-ranked men's golf program has already competed in the Cal State San Marcos tournament at Shadow Ridge CC this week and will head to the Amer Ani Invitational at the Waikoloa Resort in Hawaii, Feb. 6-8.
  • The #6-ranked men's volleyball team split a pair of MPSF matches last week in Pauley Pavilion, falling in five sets to #2-ranked UC Irvine and sweeping #13-ranked UC San Diego. The Bruins travel this week to #12-ranked Cal Baptist (Feb. 7) and #1-ranked BYU (Feb. 9) before returning home for a pair of matches against Hawai'i on Feb. 15 and 16.
  • The #2-ranked UCLA baseball team hosted its annual Alumni Game on Saturday at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The 2013 Bruins secured a 3-2 victory over the Alumni in an eight-inning contest. UCLA will open its 2013 season on Friday, Feb. 15 at home against Minnesota.
  • The #12-ranked swimming and diving team dropped a pair of close decisions in the Bay Area last weekend to #2 Stanford and #7 California. The Bruins are back in action on Feb. 16 at #1 USC.
  • The #19 softball team opens its 2013 season this weekend by hosting the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament at Easton Stadium. The Bruins face Wright State and #17 Texas A&M on Friday, McNeese State and Wright State on Saturday and A&M on Sunday.
  • The #23-ranked men's indoor track and field team, along with the women's squad, enjoyed a week off from competition. Several members of both teams, however, competed as individuals at the USA Cross Country Championships in St. Louis, with the chance to represent Team USA at the World Cross Country Championships. Freshmen led the way for the Bruins in both the men's 8K and the women's 6K races, as Michael McCabe finished 47th overall in the mens' race and Rachel Brajkovich took 29th in the women's.
  • The newest UCLA athletics team, women's sand volleyball, begins its second week of practice this week. The Bruins start their inaugural season on March 11.

Thoughts from the Athletic Director

As noted above, this Wednesday is not only National Letter of Intent Signing Day for football, it is also a big day for men's and women's soccer, men's and women's track and field, cross country and men's water polo.

With this recruiting class, there is little doubt that our coaches will successfully bring future all-Americans and perhaps even national champions to Westwood. Having closely tracked the progress of our recruiting efforts to date, I know that tomorrow will be a very special day. Regardless of where the pundits rank our respective recruiting classes, at the end of the day, I can assure you that the football staff and the other coaching staffs have done an amazing job compiling a great group of future Bruins.

A special thank you goes to recruiter extraordinaire, Michael Sondheimer, and his exemplary staff in the on-campus recruiting unit. This group often has their days, nights and weekends all blending into one, and it is responsible for setting up official visits and tours for more that 400 potential Bruins each year. They deserve large amounts of praise for the countless hours they spend in sharing all that is great about UCLA with prospects. A more dedicated Bruin than "Sondy" cannot be found, and it is no surprise that National Letter of Intent Day is his "Super Bowl."

Back to football for a moment, Pauley Pavilion will be full of happy Bruins tomorrow night when our football coaching staff reveals the fruits of their labor on the recruiting trail. Jim Mora and his staff have kept the throttle down and landed what may arguably be the best class at UCLA in more than a decade.

Congratulations to the football staff and the coaches and staffs of the other sports that will be celebrating tomorrow. Congratulations also to all of the other department staff and faculty members who played important roles throughout this process. It literally takes a village to ensure that the recruiting operation is efficient and clicking on all cylinders at all times. We do it as well as anyone in the country, and the results reflect this success.

When you get the opportunity, I encourage you to thank all of these folks for a job well done.

Go Bruins!

Dan Guerrero
UCLA Athletic Director

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