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Jeremy Johnson Auburn College Jersey NCAA

So is it possible to make the call after 14 more practices? Don’t count on it.

“I doubt that. I doubt that very seriously, but at the same time Chip will have a recommendation and we’ll go from there.”

When he’s had a competition, Malzahn has named a starting quarterback at the end of spring practice just twice in his college coaching career, in 2010 with Cam Newton and 2015 with Jeremy Johnson. Over the past decade, both Malzahn’s personal history as well as Auburn’s has been for quarterback battles to carry into fall camp.

Still, a five-man field is not expected to last long into spring.

Stidham has fit in “just fine,” according to his roommate Chandler Cox, who said the former Baylor quarterback is constantly in the film room.

Malzahn admitted it’s not realistic and given Tyler Queen’s lack of playing time and that Malik Willis is a true freshman, their candidacies are the most likely to be short-lived. Even returning backup John Franklin III is only being assured one more practice at quarterback, with a position change sounding increasingly likely.

Woody Barrett has an appealing physical skill set but also lacks experience and seems to be a long shot, at best, but should stay in the rotation as to be a viable third option as offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey installs his offense and evaluates Auburn’s personnel.

“I would say it’s probably a little more accelerated pace to evaluate the quarterbacks,” Malzahn said. “The goal is after the first week that Chip will have a good idea of at least their talent and where they’re at from an experience or mental standpoint so he can make some decisions to start repping just a handful of guys instead of five. That’s by design.

“At the same time, he’s coming into this thing new and he wants to give everybody a chance to compete, to win jobs. That’s his approach.”

Cheap Russell Westbrook UCLA NCAA Jersey

Could Lonzo Ball have a Kemba Walker-like performance in the NCAA tournament and lead UCLA to national title? Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images
Men’s Basketball
The last time a team from the Pac-12 conference (or Pac-10) made it to the Final Four, Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook were teammates for Ben Howland’s last of three consecutive runs into the first weekend of April. That was 2008, nine years ago this season. In fact, no team from even west of Norman, OK has still been dancing when the field slims to four.

And none have won a national title since Lute Olson’s 1997 Arizona team.

With the Final Four being played in Arizona this year, is 2017 the year the Western drought ends?

Jon Wilner rates the chances of four final four contenders (and few more) from the Pac-12 and West Coast Conference.

4. UCLARecord: 23-3

RPI: 25

State of the Bruins: As dangerous offensively as any team in the country — four rotation players shoot 43 percent (or better) from 3-point range — and in possession of a singular talent (Lonzo Ball) capable of carrying his team to the biggest stage. But too many starters want no part of having to defend consistently.

Final Four prospects: Unlike the three teams listed above, the Bruins need favorable matchups in order to reach the semifinals. If they get sucked into a grinder early in the tournament … by a mini-Virginia, for example … that could be it.
More looking ahead to the tournament form Myron Medcalf at ESPN. He looks at which players, Kemba Walker-style, could will their teams with some obvious flaws to a championship with three weeks of dominating performance.

Top of the list? He’s got Lonzo Ball.

But the Bruins don’t defend like national champs. Only one champion (since 2001-02) has finished outside the top 20 in’s adjusted defensive efficiency rankings — North Carolina was 21st in 2008-09. The Bruins are ranked 126th. They do fly behind the game’s most exciting player, though. And he’s clutch. Ball led UCLA to that win over Oregon with Magic Johnson sitting in the front row. He. Does. Not. Feel. Pressure. Could UCLA lose its first game of the NCAA tournament? Sure. Could Ball carry the Bruins to a national title? Definitely.
Inside UCLA writer Clay Fowler breaks down how he voted in the AP rankings, where UCLA came in at #6 after a weekend sweep of the Oregon schools in Pauley Pavilion.

The Bruins so desperately needed Thursday’s win over then-No. 5 Oregon. Even with a win over the Ducks that looks like the best victory on its resume, UCLA is still struggling to get respect from the tournament committee, which projected it as a No. 4 seed.
Fowler voted the Bruins in the six spot, as well.

More from Wilner, but this on the gridiron, who ranks the “quarterback comfort levels” of each Pac-12 team for 2017.


Comment: Too low for a team with Josh Rosen? Perhaps, but as with everything else these days concerning the Bruins, the Hotline is highly skeptical. Yes, Rosen is a huge talent, but he’s a huge talent coming off a shoulder injury — the best predictor of future injury risk is an actual injury — and has not exactly proven himself to be an ideal leader. Behind Rosen? Mike Fafaul is gone, leaving only a handful of freshmen as options. Devon Modster is the best bet for the No. 2 role.
I still haven’t figured out his enduring beef with Rosen…

Men’s Tennis
The Bruins played indoors for the first time this season, but it was no matter: they defeated unranked Tulsa 7-0 on Monday.

Dick Enberg
Check out some behind the scenes footage from Thursday night, when legendary broadcaster Dick Enberg was honored at Pauley Pavilion.