Sam Connon, Daily Bruin reporter
The Bruins had an eventful – and ironic – week at the NBA combine.
Point guard Aaron Holiday is now projected to be a mid-to-late first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. He generated buzz on the court by ranking as the No. 1 shooter from several different spots on the court, but he measured in as the second-shortest player at the combine, confirming some doubts that he was undersized. However, Holiday had the fourth-longest wingspan of all point guards with a 6 foot 7.5 inch mark.
Another one of UCLA’s point guards, Jaylen Hands, declared for the draft but left the door open for a return to Westwood by not signing with an agent. He had the smallest hands of any player at the combine this week after his hand width was measured at 8 inches, leading to some jokes about his name on Twitter.
Hands logged about 19 minutes in a scrimmage, notching 8 points and three assists, but the guard also had four turnovers.
Small forward Kris Wilkes entered the draft without an agent as well, and scored 12 points in 27 minutes in his scrimmage.
Forward Cody Riley, who was suspended for the entire 2017-2018 season after the shoplifting incident in China, declared for the draft but did not receive an invite to the combine.
Joy Hong, Daily Bruin staff
Former UCLA women’s basketball guard Jordin Canada and forward Monique Billings made their WNBA debuts this week.
Canada, selected fifth overall in the draft by the Seattle Storm, shot 4-of-8 from the field in 20 minutes of action, tallying 9 points in Sunday night’s loss to the Phoenix Mercury.
The reserve’s layup following a steal helped string together a 6-0 fourth-quarter run to cut a double-digit deficit to 2. Canada also notched four steals and one assist, but the Storm fell short of the comeback 87-82.
The former Bruin averaged 16 points, three assists and three steals in the Seattle’s first two preseason matchups against the Mercury.
The Storm faced the Mercury for the fourth consecutive time Wednesday night winning 87-71. Canada saw about 10 minutes of action and logged 1 point on the night coming from the free-throw line, and added two assists and two rebounds.
Billings, selected 15th overall in the draft by the Atlanta Dream, saw a little over nine minutes of action in her WNBA debut Sunday but was scoreless in a 101-78 loss to the Dallas Wings.
However, Billings went 4-of-4 Wednesday from the field in just four minutes of action, helping the Dream to a 81-63 victory over the Chicago Sky. Atlanta never trailed in the contest, bouncing back from the loss in the season opener.
Seattle will face off against Chicago on Friday, while Atlanta will play Dallas for a second time Saturday.
Gabriel McCarthy, Daily Bruin reporter
After the first week of the NCAA tournament, redshirt sophomore Rachel Garcia added another honor to her season resume.
Already a finalist for USA softball player of the year, the espnW player of the year and Pac-12 player of the year, Garcia was named the UCLA/Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week.
Garcia has 25 wins and three losses over the course of the season. She ranks 11th in the nation with a 1.01 ERA across 173 innings pitched, allowing 25 earned runs. Garcia pitched in all five games of the regional round, only missing four innings. She logged a 0.69 ERA, allowed only 15 hits and struck 37 batters out.
On offense, Garcia hit .375 during regionals, with 7 RBIs. In the final game of the weekend against Cal State Fullerton, she hit a 3-run home run to put the Bruins ahead by 4.
This is Garcia’s first time winning the UCLA/Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week award this season and is the first of her career.
No.3-seeded UCLA softball (54-5) will host No. 14-seeded Arizona in the Super Regionals round this weekend.
Angie Forburger, assistant Sports editor
Following its NCAA title win, UCLA beach volleyball earned a plethora of postseason honors.
Coach Stein Metzger was named the America Volleyball Coaches Association’s national coach of the year after leading the Bruins to the program’s first national title.
This season marked Metzger’s sixth with UCLA. He has posted a 110-38 overall record over his six years, earning a school record of 40 wins in the 2018 season. Metzger also took home this year’s award for Pac-12 Coach of the Year, in addition to earning the National Coach of the Year award for the second consecutive season.
All five of the UCLA starting pairs also earned All-American honors.
Juniors Megan and Nicole McNamara were named first-team All-Americans and the Pair of the Year on court one. The duo posted a 35-7 record on the year on the top court, setting a school record for wins.
The court two pair of sophomore Lily Justine and junior Sarah Sponcil also earned first-team All-American honors and the court two Pair of the Year award. The pair posted a 6-1 record in the postseason.
Junior Izzy Carey and freshman Megan Muret followed suit, also earning first-team All-American honors and the court five Pair of the Year award.
The Bruin pairs of sophomore Savvy Simo and junior Zana Muno on court three and senior Elise Zappia and freshman Mac May on court four were both named third-team All-Americans, going 25-5 and 22-6 on the year, respectively.