Howland ON:

On what killed UCLA against Arizona:
“It was just really poor shot selection. I’ve watched the games three times, four times, and we really did a poor job. But then they really out-toughed us. They hurt us on the glass in the first half with the 10 offensive rebounds. You look at our rebounding numbers right now and they’re really, really subpar from what I’d like to have.”

On UCLA’s defense:
“We have some limitations this year defensively because of athleticism. We’re just not as athletic as we’ve been. When you’re having to take those long slides to recover – from how I typically like to do which is hard hedge – it’s been the biggest problem. Being able to tweak our defense to fit our personnel better.”

On Reeves Nelson:
“Reeves is a typical freshman. He’s had highs and lows, ups and downs. You look at his overall, and he’s second in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage. For him, it’s about staying positive. Reeves is his own worst critic. He’s always beating up himself when he makes mistakes. He really has that he has to break out of.”

On the 6-8 record:
“It’s a shock that we’re not winning as much. I didn’t expect us to be 6-8, no. When Holiday finally decided to leave, I knew that was obviously going to hurt us. Especially where we’ve been good is that guard lineup.”

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  • Anonymous

    Maybe offensive restrictions imposed by Howland led to the poor shot selections.

  • I hear people talk about these ‘offensive restrictions’ all the time. Who really thinks that most of our guys can create their own shots (i.e. unrestricted, not in a set offense)? No one on the team could play the Calapari-style dribble-drive, with the mild exception of Lee. We have decent players, but we have not that style since I was a Freshman (e.g. Baron Davis). Our problems stem from a bad mix experienced, less-skilled players with inexperienced, higher-skilled players. An ad-hoc, chaotic, sped-up offense is supposed to cure our ills how?

  • Anonymous

    Chaotic sped-up offense is not the answer. But neither is Howland’s half court offense. Matt is right. No one except Lee can create their own shots. Which is worse, chaotic offense or delibrately slow and painful to watch offense that end up with brick 3s? Anyone can pass the ball around the perimeter for 20 sec and jack up a brick.

  • Stan

    No Athleticism? Coach…you recruited these kids!!

  • Well, yes, the slow half-court offense does lead to bad shots at times, but it does (not as often as any of us would like) also lead to easy layups and open jumpers. My point is, if the players had more ‘freedom’, all that would garner is more create-their-own shots and less team play, and how bad would we look then?

  • Anonymous

    They actually do run some fast break when they get rebounds, but the frontline is woefully undersized. That’s where our lack of athleticism is hurting them. The guys up front can’t jump, thus can’t grab rebounds. They also get a lot of their shots blocked. The offense only works when they shoot 60 percent.

  • Reformed Droog

    A paper napkin offense will work if you shoot 60%…