Answers, Part XVI

I hope everyone enjoyed this week’s Q&A, and got what they hoped for out of it. Here is the 16th and final set of answers:

Chad Ford of ESPN.com wrote that Holiday is gone because he doesn’t like CBH and his style of coaching. Have you heard the same?
There are rumblings like that, but all kids say that because they are not thrilled with Howland’s emphasis on defense. But I’ll say this – if Holiday finds out he is projected as a mid- to late- first round pick, he’ll be back regardless of whether or not he likes playing for Howland, that’s why I don’t pay attention when people make blanket statements about a situation.

There’s been a lot of speculation that Holiday does not get along with Howland. In light of this, and with Gordon openly criticizing Howland’s coaching style, is there a rift between the players and coach Howland? Is it only with some players or all?
When did he openly criticize Howland’s coaching style? He said the team would play differently next season, but that was based on personnel. Maybe I missed something.

Is Arron Afflalo really the good guy that he appears to be? Even now that he is in the NBA, I continue to be impressed by his humility and the way he carries himself.
I don’t want to offend anyone else I covered, but in 18 years of doing this job, I have not found someone better to deal with, more accountable and humble. I found him to be a great kid (now man) all around, and I don’t throw praise out like that very often.

I’ll be the first to get in line and say UCLA played horribly last Saturday…but nevertheless, is Villanova actually a lot better than anyone thought?
Define “anyone.” They are tough matchups for any team they play, they are physical and they have experience. Oh, and let’s not forget talent. They were the fourth best team in the Big East, which makes them the best team in any other conference this season.

Why do North Carolina players return to finish their careers with Roy Williams and why do UCLA players always seem to jump at the first NBA chance presented?
In my opinion, it’s because Williams lets his players run up and down the court and defense isn’t the end-all, be-all, so it is a lot of fun for the kids. Also, UNC kids are in L.A., so agents aren’t always hanging around the players and families to tell them they need to leave now.

Should UCLA fans be concerned that Howland may have captured lightning in a bottle with his first few recruiting classes getting guys who fit his style perfectly and that we may not get back to that level?
I wouldn’t be. He has been successful recruiting good players where ever he coached. The concern, to me, is what can he do to keep more kids around for an extra year so they have more experience and depth in the future.

Do you think Duke’s days of attracting good athletes and making deep tournament runs is over? (Seems like North Carolina stole that aura away…)
It has been over for a few years, and I don’t think it has as much to do with UNC as it does with Duke rarely sending a player to the NBA who then becomes a star.

If I remember correctly, Howland never seems to get the 7-foot high-jumping, shot-blocker types. Is it because they aren’t physical enough, or is he unsuccessful in recruiting them?
First of all, there aren’t that many of those players out there. Second, I think it is too general to lump every one of those players into the same group. To be honest, give me a few 7-footers so we can tackle this thing better. Other than the Lopez twins, who were always going to Stanford, I cannot think of any other 7-footers in the Pac-10 the last few seasons.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • Seitz

    With regard to UNC, who has stayed? Hansbrough? He’s not going to be a good NBA player. The UCLA kids who have left (Farmar, Afflalo, Love, LRMAM, and Westbrook) will ALL have better NBA careers than Hansbrough. He’s just not an NBA player.

    When UNC had NBA prospects, they left. Or do people forget May, McCants, Williams, and Felton, who all left after the 2005 championship?

    Sorry, but that’s a really dumb question, dude.

  • Jewin

    Brian, thanks again for taking the time to do the Q&A every week.

  • Blue Bruin

    I don’t call your questions dumb. UNC is the favorite because Lawson, Hansbrough, et al are still playing…and UCLA is out because Love, Luc, and Westbrook took off…and if Afflalo stayed last year year, UCLA probably wins the national championship.

  • Anonymous

    Did I miss it or did Dohn not answer the gay question? I was really looking forward to him not answering such a loaded question, but I at least thought he’d publicly decline to do so.

  • Steve

    Spencer Hawes was a 7-footer, but he wasn’t exactly a jumping bean. His year at UWub was pretty disappointing.

    Steve

  • bbruin

    Lets not forget that UNC’s Lawson came back because he got a DUI last spring and his draft status dropped like a rock.

  • Aussie Bruin

    Is it still basketball season??? I miss Lawyer John and VB’s various incarnations. This has become a lame tame blog. Brian, start getting the nostrils flaring. Get our dander up. I want to read some totally nonsensical yet stimulating comments. Nice and predictable is boring. *stifled yawn

  • Anonymous

    To anonymous at 10:04 PM – I’m not sure what you mean you were “looking forward to” Brian “not answering the gay questions.” Does that mean you wanted him not to answer them? Or did you mistype your comment and meant to say you were looking forward to his answering them?

    I was the one who asked the questions. I was careful to phrase them in a non-offensive way, and to be very clear that I wasn’t asking Brian to even come within a mile of “outing” anyone. So I’m not sure why you say they were “such loaded questions.” What was loaded about them?

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

  • barrya

    Rumors are incredible. First, Ford didn’t write that; he said the same sort of thing that Brian said, that he’d been hearing etc., etc. I heard rumors much of the year about divisiveness and antagonism with the Coach but the parent of one of the players late in the year said it wasn’t true, that the guys like Ben, though there is frustration in that they could play more uptempo. Of course, if you can’t rebound effectively it’s really hard to run with the ball you weren’t able to get. Howland clearly opened things up some this year – the offensive stats reflect that – and, IF they can improve their rebounding next year, I expect they will run a lot more in the future.

    As to Ben giving up his “give the ball to the point guard and let him make something happen” offensive set(s), that remains to be seen. You see Pitt doing exactly the same thing – Howland’s teaching – and it works well when things get tight. However, having PGs who are pass-first guys, rather than take it all the way and score it myself guys, is going to make a difference on how the offense plays out in the next several years even if they do run set plays a lot of the time – a lot more penetrations and feeds rather than solo efforts. I think Howland will adjust to the level of talent he is now recruiting because he HAS to to take that next step, just as JRW learned to adjust to different players and different times

  • Nobody Cares

    So are you saying Howland has done a BAD JOB recruiting talent?

  • bruinfanjb

    My son and I met AA at halftime of a football game while he was still playing at UCLA. He couldn’t have been nicer. We talked to him for awhile and he posed for a picture with my son..he was courteous and respectful and made sure that he directed his attention to my son who was only 7 at the time. I was a fan of his then and am even more so now!

  • Anonymous

    Anon at 11:50, sorry, my comment didn’t translate the way I intended. I was really looking forward to Brian answering your question, which I agree was asked in the most “non-outing” way possible. Considering how taboo the gay issue is in all sports and esp. w/in the African American community (from which college and pro sports draws big numbers), I guess it didn’t surprise me that Brian chose not to answer your question, but I thought he’d at least state in the Q&A that he was passing on it. Again, sorry for the miscommunication and I totally appreciate your question.

  • george

    bluebruin -

    your question was indeed dumb.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous at 11:53 AM- I appreciate your clarification and kind response.