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Word From Westwood - Jan. 15, 2013
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  01/15/2013

Word From Westwood

Word From Westwood - Deliver to Inbox

Jan. 15, 2013

When the men's basketball team returns to New Pauley this Thursday night, it will mark the first of three very special events scheduled for this men's hoops season.

The #52 UCLA jersey worn by Jamaal "Silk" Wilkes during his days with the Bruins will be retired and hung from the rafters at halftime. It will be the first men's basketball jersey retirement ceremony in New Pauley and will be followed by the retirement of Reggie Miller's #31 later this month and Don Barksdale's #11 early next month.

These three great Bruins were also inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012 -- perhaps the greatest honor that can be bestowed for a long, storied career ...


Men's Basketball Returns to the Polls
With its dramatic sweep of the first road weekend of the Pac-12 season, and a spot once again in the Top 25, the UCLA men's basketball team will be riding its first nine-game winning streak since 2009 when it hosts the Oregon schools this week at New Pauley. Oregon State comes in Thursday at 6 pm and Oregon at 1 pm Saturday.

UCLA students will be lining up for tickets to both of these games later this week, and there is no doubt that they are amped to welcome their Bruins back to Pauley. It is incumbent on the entire Bruin family to replicate the energy and emotion of the December 28 game against Missouri and create a true home-court advantage.

Tickets remain on sale for each of these games, please click here or call the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310-UCLA-WIN (310-825-2946).

On another note, the Bruins will be wearing alternate uniforms for their January 30 home game against USC. Designed and developed by adidas, the new all-blue uniforms feature solid color blocking of team logos, word marks and numbers with minimal accent color and shimmer finish for a bold on-court look. The uniform design is similar in spirit to those worn by select NBA teams on Christmas Day.

Bay Area Awaits Women's Basketball Team
Not to be outdone by the recent success of the men, the women's basketball team continued its hot hand last weekend with a sweep of the Washington schools in Pauley that improved the Bruins' overall record to 13-2 (4-0 in the Pac-12).

Sunday's victory over Washington was the season-best sixth in a row for the Bruins, who battled injuries a year ago and won just 14 games all season under then-rookie head coach Cori Close. This year's team has now won at least five consecutive games twice this season and is No. 14 in the most recent rankings put out this week.

UCLA heads north this weekend for back-to-back games against Top 10 opponents. Friday night at 8:00 pm, they will battle No. 6 Stanford in Palo Alto, and Sunday afternoon at 12:30 pm, #7 Cal awaits the Bruins. The matchup against the Cardinal will televised on Pac-12 Networks, and the battle against the Bears will be broadcast on ESPNU.

The team will return to Pauley on January 25 at 6 pm against Arizona. Tickets for the game are still available here.

Baseball to Showcase New Video Board at JRS at January 26 Alumni Game
Those in attendance at the UCLA baseball team's annual Alumni Game on Saturday, January 26 may notice something new at Jackie Robinson Stadium. UCLA will debut a new 17x49 foot state-of-the-art Daktronics LED video board at the event.

This marks the second consecutive year that UCLA has significantly upgraded the fan experience at JRS, after adding 580 chairback seats in the stands. In addition, last year also featured upgrades for the players, with 36 new lockers installed in the team's clubhouse in time for the 2012 season.

Olympic Sports Report

  • The women's water polo team opens the season at the Michigan Invitational on Saturday. The Bruins will face San Diego State and the hosting Wolverines on Saturday, before taking on Colorado State and Indiana on Sunday.
  • The #1-ranked gymnastics team improved its record to 2-0 with a 197.425-195.300 victory over Utah in front of more than 5,500 fans at Pauley Saturday night. The Bruins have the weekend off before facing Arizona State in Tempe on January 25.
  • The #5-ranked men's volleyball team won the Outrigger Invitational, taking two of three matches in Hawaii to improve to 5-2 on the season, and will host Long Beach State tonight in Pauley.
  • The #5-ranked men's tennis team opens its season this weekend at the Sherwood Collegiate Cup in Thousand Oaks. The women's team, ranked second in the nation, will participate at both the Freeman Memorial Championships in Las Vegas and the National Collegiate Tennis Classic in Palm Springs to start its 2013 campaign.
  • The #13-ranked swimming team defeated both Kansas and San Diego State in dual meets last weekend. Meanwhile, the diving team hosted the Bruin Diving Invitational, and UCLA was led by sophomore Emma Ivory-Ganja, who finished second in the Three-Meter and fifth in both the One-Meter and the Platform. Swimming will host Simon Fraser on Saturday, while Diving will next compete in the Air Force Diving Invitational in two weeks.
  • The indoor track teams will have one more week of training before embarking on their schedule on January 25 at the Washington Invitational. In Seattle. The men's team is ranked #19 heading into the season.
  • The softball team will play its first games the second weekend in February at Easton Stadium when it hosts the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament.
  • The men's and women's golf teams will start their spring schedules in early February.


Mora and UCLA Agree to a Contract Extension
Late last week, UCLA Head Football Coach Jim Mora and the University agreed on a one-year contract extension through the 2017 season. Mora led the Bruins to nine wins, a Pac-12 South title and a Holiday Bowl berth in his first season in Westwood.

In addition, UCLA continues to work on plans to build an on-campus football training facility adjacent to Spaulding Field on the west, with further details to be announced in the coming weeks.

Northern Trust Open Hosts UCLA Day on February 16
Join fellow Bruin fans, coaches, staff, and the UCLA cheer team on Saturday, February 16 for UCLA Day at the Northern Trust Golf Open, held annually at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

The special day features a $65 ticket that allows access to the tournament grounds and the Palisades Club, their new open air and tented VIP hospitality venue, with patios overlooking the signature par-4 10th hole and practice range.

The first 300 people in attendance will be provided a limited-edition UCLA Day Northern Trust Open hat. In addition, 50 percent of all ticket proceeds will be donated back to UCLA Athletics.

For more information or to purchase your $65 VIP ticket, please visit: /ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30500&ATCLID=208178260.

Thoughts from the Athletic Director

After a successful 2012 football season, it was only natural for many of you to eagerly await the release of the 2013 home schedule. However, as is sometimes the case when new things are unveiled, some fans were dismayed regarding the announcement last week. The consternation centered around the Friday, November 15 home game against Washington. Many wondered, why would UCLA agree to host a weekday game?

The answer is all Pac-12 institutions must play these non-Saturday games (known as "special date" games) as part of our current media rights deal with ESPN and FOX. In fact, the Pac-12 Handbook was amended to outline each school's obligations: "... each institution shall host two special date games during every three year period beginning in 2012 to be televised by FOX and ESPN..."

These nontraditional games were absolutes for our media partners, but also provide significant benefits for conference members, too. Special date contests are virtually always broadcast to a national TV audience, providing valuable exposure that helps our recruiting in all sports and also gives fans/media all across the country an opportunity to watch our teams compete (this access could prove to be especially important when the new BCS playoff structure takes hold in 2014).

This past year, six conference members hosted seven special date games on either Thursday or Friday: Washington, Cal, Stanford, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado (twice).

Since UCLA did not host one of these games at the Rose Bowl in 2012, we knew we would do so in 2013, thus resulting in playing Washington on a Friday this year. In the coming season, Pac-12 schools will host nine special date games: Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, and Utah (twice).

Looking ahead, fans should note that a special date game will also be played in Pasadena in 2014.

We have already begun our planning for this year's game and will be working with our colleagues at the Rose Bowl and the City of Pasadena as well as fellow Pac-12 schools who have been through this experience to address the unique challenges of hosting a non-Saturday game.

One more note before I sign off for the week, I wanted to take a second to remind fans about the student-athlete Q&A published in each month's Bruin Blue. This month features a discussion with quarterback Brett Hundley, which you can read by clicking HERE. These segments are a fantastic opportunity to familiarize yourself with some of the terrific student-athletes who represent our University.

Go Bruins!

Dan Guerrero
UCLA Athletic Director

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