Answers, Part IX

Here is the ninth set:

Howland has gone on record saying that next year’s team will be even younger. The real question is though, will next year’s team be better?
Good question. We shall see. If Jrue Holiday stays, it could be better. If not, I think UCLA could have a similar season.

with Pitt hitting the top of the rankings and UCLA dropping, do you think coach Howland ever has any regrets about changing schools?
No. Not at all. UCLA had been to the Final Four the last three years. UCLA is the school Howland grew up idolizing. Pitt can’t get past the Sweet 16.

You mentioned that Kevin Prince’s “arm looks terrific from a strength standpoint.” How does his arm look from an accuracy standpoint?
It looked ok. I didn’t want to judge it too much because it is so early in the process. But his mechanics and arm strength look good.

You have mentioned that with respect to the competition for the starting quarterback, “the coaches have an idea how the competition will shake out.” What is their idea as to how things will shake out?
I cannot get into that. However, I expect Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut to compete hard for the starting spot, and the other may wind up being the backup.

It has been suggested that there are certain cliques on the basketball team. If so, has it been harmful to team chemistry? Is the situation that the seniors are in one clique and the younger players in another?
From my vantage point, I cannot argue with anything you have written above in this question. Every team has cliques, but I have noticed it more with this one than the last few years.

Is there family pressure on Jrue Holliday to turn pro after this season?
I don’t know that to be true at this time, but I think the family will be pressured by outside influences.

Do you ever feel the BB players play too tight and are afraid to make a mistake? It’s hard to figure out the talent on this team when they play this way.
I think they play tight sometimes, but rather than being afraid to make a mistake, I get the sense they are confused offensively, at times.

A recent article in the Las Vegas Sun on Ed O’Bannon portrayed him as being a fiery leader during his senior season (UCLA’s last championship), getting into the face of the freshmen like Toby Bailey when needed. Does this year’s team lack that same type of leadership?
I don’t think this team has that fiery leader and I think it hurts them. There is leadership on this team, but I don’t get the sense there is fiery leadership.

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  • Fan4Life

    Re: Pitt this year and Howland

    There is no one in the Pac 10 as good as Pitt’s Dejuan Blair who was part of the great 2008 frosh class. That class included Kevin Love, OJ Mayo, Derrick Rose, Eric Gordon, Michael Beasley, Kyle Singler, Blake Griffen, etc. Blair was ranked in the top 20 and was a 5* recruit per Scout.

    The only person comparable in our conference is James Harden who was also a top 20 player of that class.

    A fair comparison would be to imagine what UCLA would be like if KLove was one this year’s team. If Stanford couldn’t stop KL with both Lopez’s on the team, it’s pretty doubtful any team in the conference could stop him this year.

    Howland main misfortune is having players declare early for the NBA.

  • miltk

    next year’s team will be deeper. But we lose 3 seniors, 2 shooters, our pg, and our toughest big….with a bunch of sf’s and pf’s coming in. By this time it is safe to assume you CANNOT depend on frosh and any contribution is icing.

  • Burbank Bruin

    “with Pitt hitting the top of the rankings and UCLA dropping, do you think coach Howland ever has any regrets about changing schools?”

    I’m amazed that anyone would even wonder if Howland is this fickle. This is the kind of question you would ask if we were talking about Lavin….not Howland.