JumpOffPlus.com College Tour: What We Learned @UCLAWBB – January 5, 2015

UCLA has emerged from a treacherous pre-conference slate as one of the Pac 12's premier programs.  Photo by UCLA Athletics

UCLA has emerged from a treacherous pre-conference slate as one of the Pac 12’s premier programs.
Photo by UCLA Athletics

LOS ANGELES – Now entering her fourth season at the helm of the Bruins, UCLA coach Cori Close has established herself as a more than capable leader of one of the nation’s most storied basketball programs. For the second straight year, we had a courtside seat to watch Close’s group take the Pauley Pavilion floor. After seeing this year’s group battle with No. 4 Notre Dame, we are convinced that the future is bright in Westwood.

By: @BrandonClayPSB


1) Nirra Fields is learning how to be an elite go-to option.


Fields led off our recap last year as a player we saw as just scratching the surface of her potential. After a breakout sophomore season, Fields has been keyed upon by opposing defenses as the primary scorer. Along with an assist from Close and her staff, essay on my country pakistan for class 7 the junior scoring guard is taking the extra defensive attention in stride. On this night, Fields had the Fighting Irish full attention as All-American Jewell Loyd found Fields early in the shot clock. Loyd’s mission was easily visible: Do not let Fields get going. That worked for the first three quarters of the game. Fields got rolling inside the final 10 minutes finishing with 20 points on just 13 shot attempts. The only thing that kept Fields from pouring in 25 plus on the afternoon was a tough day at the free throw line. Keep an eye on Fields as a potential All Pac 12 post season selection.

2) Kari Korver gets it.


After suffering a knee injury that caused her to miss the 2013-14 season, Korver is back and appears better than ever. She was the first one out to get up shots during pre-game warmups. Long considered as a shooting specialist, the redshirt sophomore has turned herself into do my essay for money an elite option in that regard. On this afternoon, Korver gave the Bruins 34 minutes of playing time finishing with eight points, five rebounds. As teams continue to key in on Fields and identify the talented freshman class as keys to watch, Korver’s ability to stretch the floor will be that much more important.

3) The freshman class is on pace to be as good as advertised.


Close and her staff welcomed a freshman class on campus this summer that ProspectsNation.com considered to be the finest in the country. In this elite contest, they showed what all of the pre-season talk was about. While they are finding their way through the difficult waters of college basketball, this five-player group has the makings of a class that can lead Close’s Bruins to a Pac 12 championship run sooner than later. Jordin Canada led the way with a 16-point performance on 7-15 from the field. Recee’ Caldwell chipped in with a community service trip essay couple of big 3-pointers in 26 minutes of play. Both Monique Billings and Lajahna Drummer contributed in the front court playing a combined 31 minutes finsihing the game with 10 points, 10 rebounds.

4) UCLA is scared of NO ONE.


Playing undoubtably the nation’s toughest pre-conference schedule would scare some coaching staffs but not this one. With a roster littered with youth and inexperienced key pieces, the Bruins took on the challenge of sharpening their sword in-game against some of the nation’s premier teams. Playing ranked teams including Connecticut, James Madison, Nebraska, North Carolina and Notre Dame, have set up the Bruins for immediate success inside of a Pac 12 slate that might be the most competitive that it’s been in the 13 years that we’ve covered the league.


5) The road to the Pac 12 elite is paved with UCLA blue.


Armed with a beautiful facility in the newly rebuilt Pauley Pavilion, the nation’s essay on my aim in life to become cricketer No. 1 recruiting class in 2014 and three more ELITE 50 caliber recruits already on board in the next two classes, UCLA appears to be leading the way out west into the latter part of this decade. The Bruins have signed Letters of Intent from seniors Kennedy Burke of California and Ashley Hearn of Texas. Looking ahead, they’ve already received a verbal commitment from Ally Rosenblum of Newport Beach, Calif. In addition, Close and her staff had three four-star rated in-state juniors on campus with Rosenblum for the marquee matchup in Jaelyn Brown, Dijonai Carrington and Kayla Overbeck. Don’t look for the Bruins to relax anytime in the foreseeable future.

Brandon Clay Brandon Clay is the owner of the JumpOffPlus.com International Report, Peach State Basketball, Inc., and ProspectsNation.com. The JumpOffPlus.com is picked up by more than 200 colleges and universities nationwide. He serves as the Executive Camp Director for the Elite Basketball Academy Camps. Clay has been involved in the community since 2001. You can reach him at [email protected]