Quotables: Ben Howland, Pt. 2

How long has this been in the works?
BH: “We started talking about this – it’s been a few weeks. I can’t tell you exactly what the date was. He was the first guy that came to my mind right away. He was my No. 1 choice from the get go.”

Why did it take so long?
BH: “We were in no hurry. He still had some responsibilities in Nebraska. I’m friends with Doc Sadler at Nebraska and they had to finish things they had going there. I didn’t want to hurt my relationship with Doc. Phil meant the world to them and their program, and I handle it the right way with people I respect. That’s probably why it went a little longer than usual.”

What does Phil bring to the program?
BH: “One of the things, Phil’s being modest. He has great relationships. He’s been in coaching for 20 years; it’s really big for us to have someone with those ties to the community. Those relationships, those contacts, having that network. He’s going to help in so many ways.
“Phil actually has a son who’s a pretty good player. He’s been out able to watch his sons play at those AAU events and we can’t go to that as coaches. That’s been good – he’s been able to see his son play against some other good players. The rule for the coaches to not be able to go out during April during AAU events has been a poorly thought-out rule. It really hurts a lot of D-1 programs, and the players in recruiting – they’re not allowed to get that exposure.”

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