Ryan Smith, Sports editor
Outside linebacker Keisean Lucier-South earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors with his performance against California on Saturday.
The UCLA football (1-5, 1-2 Pac-12) redshirt junior recorded a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss and played a key part in forcing three of the Bears’ four fourth-quarter turnovers.
Lucier-South picked up the first interception of his career after corralling a pass that he tipped to himself, and then followed that up with a 38-yard fumble return for a touchdown later in the quarter.
On the next Cal possession, Lucier-South strip-sacked Bears quarterback Brandon McIlwain. Junior linebacker Lokeni Toailoa recovered the fumble for the Bruins.
Lucier-South finished the game with six tackles and now has 18 on the season to help the Bruins to a 37-7 victory for their first win of the season. He also has 8.5 tackles for loss.
In this week’s conference rankings, Lucier-South ranked tied for eighth in the league in sacks and was listed sixth in the league in tackles for loss.
Sam Connon, assistant Sports editor
Sophomore guard Jaylen Hands is on the national radar.
The second-year guard was named to the 2019 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award watch list Monday. The award is given to the top point guard in the country and was given to former Villanova guard Jalen Brunson in 2018.
Hands averaged 9.9 points per game as a freshman last season and was second on the team with 2.6 assists per game. The former five-star prospect made several highlight plays last season, but he averaged the second most turnovers on the team with 1.8 per game despite coming off the bench for over half of the year.
Hands is expected to get increased playing time this year with guard Aaron Holiday moving on to the NBA and four-star freshman guard Tyger Campbell tearing his ACL last week. Hands played 25.2 minutes per game last year, while Holiday – UCLA’s primary ballhandler – averaged 37.7.
Pac-12 rival Oregon has a representative on the preseason watch list as well.
Payton Pritchard was also on the list of 20 players, making him and Hands the only Pac-12 guards to earn the honor.
No UCLA player has ever won the award since its inception in 2004, and former Utah guard Delon Wright is the only winner from a Pac-12 program.
Gabriel McCarthy, assistant Sports editor
Two Bruins made their debuts in the top-100 rankings.
UCLA men’s soccer had two squad members featured in the TopDrawer Soccer midseason top-100, created after matchplay from July 30 to Oct. 2.
Senior midfielder/defender and team captain Erik Holt was placed at No. 53. Holt was named to the MAC Hermann Watch List prior to the season started, the honor given to the best collegiate player in the nation at the end of the season. Holt was named to the All-Pac-12 first team for the first time in his career after the 2017 season.
Holt has logged three assists in 12 games started so far this season and the Bruins have posted five shutouts this season. He finished last season with one goal and one assist in 16 games started.
UCLA has allowed one goal per game and 8.0 shots per game, as well as 37 shots on goal.
Junior forward Mohammed Kamara was slotted in at No. 93. Kamara began the season for UCLA with four goals in four appearances after transferring from Tyler Junior College before the season began.
Kamara was named the NJCAA National Player of the Year and a First Team NJCAA All-American after claiming the NJCAA National Championship the 2017 season. He recorded 48 goals in 22 games as a sophomore, including eight hat-tricks.