Simply put, there might not be a more interesting team in college basketball entering the 2016-2017 season than the UCLA Bruins. After back-to-back trips to the Sweet 16 in 2014 and 2015, the Bruins are coming off a disappointing 15-17 season, yet enter this year with sky-high expectations. With most of their key pieces returning and the addition of one of the top recruiting classes in the country (one that includes Naismith High School Player of the Year Lonzo Ball) many believe that the Bruins are a true Final Four contender. That's a long way away though, and in the meantime, UCLA opened its 2017 season in the least likely place possible last week: Australia. The Bruins are on a summer tour down under and they gave FOX Sports an exclusive look behind the scenes of their entire trip. Last week they took us on Part I of their journey, which included trips to the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbor Bridge and a win over Sydney University. You can read all about that here. Now, it's time for Part II, where they hang with koalas (and kangaroos), tour Rod Laver Stadium and yes, even played a basketball game or two. Enjoy!
For those of you who missed Part I, it's time for a quick recap. Just hours after they got off the plane, it was off to tour the Sydney Harbor Bridge. It started with a treacherous 90-minute climb to the top, in which freshman T.J. Leaf later admitted that he "might throw up" if he looked down.
No need to worry, as everyone made it to the top. A handful of players pose here, high above the Sydney skyline.
Senior Isaac Hamilton showed some veteran leadership getting his teammates to the top of the bridge.
The present and future of UCLA basketball on display, as highly-touted freshmen T.J. Leaf (left) and Lonzo Ball (right) stand atop the bridge.
In their first game down under, UCLA cruised to a 123-76 win over Sydney University. Leaf (after not throwing up on the bridge) led the way with 21 points in his Bruins' debut.
Following the win, it was wheels up to Melbourne, where Part II of our Bruins' diary officially begins.
Once in Melbourne, the team got a tour of the world famous "Melbourne Cricket Grounds." The stadium, which seats 100,000 is the largest cricket venue in the world, and currently plays host to both cricket and Aussie Rules Football.
The player's continue the tour of the venue, which was also home base to the 1956 Melbourne Summer Olympics (unofficially, the last Olympics Michael Phelps did not win a gold medal in).
Nothing like a good barbecue dinner after spending the day talking cricket with 15 of your closest friends.
Friday started off in style, with the team taking a bike tour through the city of Melbourne.
Gentlemen, start your engines.
Freshman Ike Anigbogu and coach Steve Alford are ready to go!
So too is senior guard Bryce Alford.
After a quick afternoon practice, it was off to AAMI Park to watch a real life rugby match between the Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos!
Thomas Welsh loves him some Aussie Rules Football. Do you?!
The team takes in the game. And Lonzo Ball gives fellow freshman Ike Anigbogu pointers.
Make no mistake, the Bruins had a big game Saturday night. But before the action on the court, they hit... the courts. Here the team is seen at Rod Laver Arena, the site of the annual Australian Open tennis tournament.
Legendary Bruin (and current Director of Basketball Operations) Tyus Edney is seen here standing next to another legend: Tennis great Jimmy Connors.
After a lot of fun, it was back to business at hand on the court, where the Bruins played their second of three games down under. They faced Melbourne United, one of the top teams in the NBL, Australia's top pro league.
Lonzo Ball and fellow freshman Ike Anigbogu got the start, as coach Steve Alford juggled his lineup. Ball finished with eight points, 13 rebounds and three assists in his second game at UCLA.
Ball and senior guard Isaac Hamilton double a driving Melbourne United guard. Hamilton and Bryce Alford each led the way with 18 points, but the Bruins couldn't hold on to win. After taking home their first game, they fell 89-84 to their opponent.
Despite the disappointing loss, players posed with fans after the game.
There was no rest for the weary, as the players were off to Brisbane for the final stop on the tour.
Once there, the players got the experience of a lifetime at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Things started out slow at first, with players taking pictures from a distance.
But eventually, they jumped right in. Here, freshman T.J. Leaf makes a new friend.
As the two grow closer, they ponder some of life's biggest questions.
Not to be outdone, senior guard Bryce Alford makes a new friend too.
Eventually, it was over to see the koalas.
And in the case of Ike Anigbogu, even feed them.
Isaac Hamilton goes full-fledged selfie-mode with his koala.
The final of three games tips off, as the Bruins face the Brisbane Bullets, another team that will play in the NBL during the 2016-2017 season.
Coach Steve Alford draws up plays in the huddle. Aaron Holiday, seen seated here, led the Bruins with 17 points.
Holiday was one of four Bruins' who finished in double-figures scoring, as UCLA held on for a 94-91 victory.
After the game, Thomas Welsh and other Bruins sign autographs for fans.
The final day of the trip kicks off with a bang, as the team heads down to the beach in Brisbane for a surf. Here players get lessons, before heading into the water.
Senior forward Thomas Welsh is ready to hang-ten!
Surf's up, as players get into and out of the water!
A successful trip is in the books. The players spend their final few hours on the beach before heading to the hotel and packing up for the night.
After 10 long days down under, it's time to head home after the Bruins finished 2-1 on the court, and made memories that will last a lifetime off of it. UCLA hit the skies early Wednesday morning Australia, and will return to California roughly 24 hours later, also on Wednesday morning California time. A big thank you goes out to UCLA athletic communications, and athletic communications director Alex Timiraos for helping assist with these pictures.