Extravaganswer, Part 1

I’ve been off this week, but I decided to tackle a bunch of the questions that you submitted, and I’ll roll them out throughout the day.

Here’s the first batch:

1) Basketball recruiting – is there one coach (Ben or one of the assistants) that typically is the primary recruiter for a player or do all of the coaches get involved? If there is one person primarily involved, do you know (or can you find out) who has been primarily involved with the PG recruiting the last couple of years (Anderson, Gaddy, McCallum, etc.)? – Mike H class of 90
Basketball staffs are so small that everyone plays a part, though there are definitely primary recruiters. I believe it’s based more on location than role, though I’m sure position coaches are doing a lot of talking too.

2) Has anyone ever told you, you look like Jonah hill at a distance? – Anonymous
At a distance, up close, from medium range. Everywhere. Someone bought me a drink because I look like him. We all have our cross to bear. I think I look more like Taye Diggs, but that’s just me.

3) Hey, Jon. I hope the world is treating you well. FOOTBALL Q: I don’t get the F-back position. Is the F-back on the field at the same time as a tailback, or does he take the place of a tailback? Does the F-back stand directly behind the quarterback, or is he positioned someplace else? Also, when is the next podcast? I really like those. – UCLA ’64
The F-back is a variation of the H-back role that Dallas Clark fills for Indianapolis. It is a hybrid pass-catcher/pass-blocker, though I expect UCLA to use Presley, Thigpen and Ramirez in the running game as well. He is on the field with the tailback, and typically lines up sort of in the slot position, but really all over the field. The goal is to maximize the player’s role in the passing game, but also as a blocker.
On the podcast: There will be some big news coming up shortly. The podcast in its current form is kind of dead – Ben just doesn’t have the time to make it a regular thing – but we have some big things on the way.

4) Hey Jon, I’ve got a question on football and hoops. Feel free to answer both or pick one if you’d like. I was at Spring Game, and was not impressed by the Revolver, considering all the hype. Was the inability for Prince to show off his running game and size/speed/escapability partly to blame for the lackluster performance on the offensive side of the ball? – bruinfan885
It was partly to blame on poor execution, partly to blame on the fact that he was down by contact and partly to blame on the defense seeing the plays for 15 straight practices. Definitely wasn’t what I expected – or what Neuheisel wanted – to see, but there is enough good in the formation to stick with it.

5) Have point guard recruits all over the country realized that Howland’s system is a talent sucking blackhole for the PG position? Darren Collison and Russel Westbrook were good players at UCLA but they are better pros than they were college players at point guard, and there is no reason to not believe that Jrue Holiday will be the same. Are there any PG recruits, perhaps from City or Southern Section, that could potentially add depth next season even if they aren’t highly touted? – bruinfan885
I don’t know how you can say those point guards weren’t good in college. They were routinely regarded as some of the best in the country when they were there – Farmar, too, and I expect Holiday would’ve become a star. Say what you will about Howland’s system, but I think he’s had a bit of success at the guard position.

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  • Watty

    “Darren Collison and Russel Westbrook were good players at UCLA but they are better pros than they were college players at point guard.”

    Yes, they improved once they got to the pros – what player doesn’t? This is a criticism of Howland???


  • Question 5 makes absolutely no sense. Of course DC, JF and RW are better pros than college players! They’re mentally prepared for the next level. They’re committed to defense. They’re gamers.

    If you’re an elite PG in high school in the LA area, how do you NOT consider UCLA?

  • logan

    not to mention that the pick and roll is an essential part of many NBA offenses…name another rookie point guard who was better at running the pick and roll than collison? howland’s offense may be boring to watch but it gets guards ready for the next level.

  • Jed and Gold

    CBH creates NBA players by teaching them offensive and defensive disipline…Jeeez there are some retards out there.
    Kids who come to westwood learn what type of D you will have to play to make it in the NBA…
    what’s wrong with people, CBH has made his mistakes the last couple years but, he has earned a pass.

    2nd best coach in UCLA history…get of his as#

  • Confused

    Bruinfan885, you are either a Trogan, or are lacking the mental capacity to understand the positive effect Coach Ben Howland’s system has on Point Guards. His system, allows the Point Guard to create plays, to read the court, watch the players move, and if the player can recognize these defensive schemes, can then make offensive scores as well as HUGE defensive plays, as was seen between DC and RW. Frankly, you sound like an idiot, because we have had plenty of success at the PG position. SO much so, UCLA was often regarded as PG U. Next time to a little research before you ask dumb questions, these are the kind of questions that instill a sense of confusion about our program, when in fact it all comes down to ONE THING. DEDICATION to learning Ben Howland’s system. It works, we’ve seen it work, and its’ worked for him for years.


    The fact that ALL of those guys are good pros is the reason to go to UCLA

  • BruinBall

    Certain types of players excel in the pros and certain type are hurt by the style of play. The college game is more scripted, more team defense oriented and in general slower. The NBA is more uptempo and open and athletic, quicker player thrive in it. Also, requires you to be a better one-on-one defender.

    Hence, Collison is doing well and Westbrook really thrives in the style of game. GMs know this, that’s why a relatively unproven Westbrook was taken so high.

    A college stud, like Adam Morrison, has really turned into a dude in the NBA.

  • Confused

    Good point BruinBall,

    You could even go as far as to point out DC and RW lighting it up. And the selfish village idiot (Jrue Holiday) is keeping the bench warm, for those cold losing nights.


    The “village idiot” was the 17th pick and started the last 41 games. Oh yeah and made $1,514,280. Should he have stayed? Yes. Did we all want him to stay? Yes. But harldy the village idiot.

  • Anonymous


    Is that your license plate? I saw a van with that lic plate on 405 last week in the south bay area.

  • Anonymous

    In college you play less than 40 games and have limited time for practice and conditioning. In the Nba you play at least twice as many games and get to work on your game full time. Plus, you’re going up against other pros, ANYONE who makes it into the league should improve, its almost impossible not to. The fact that our guys thrive while others may not shows how good our program prepares its players, especially guards.

  • Anonymous

    Bruinfan885 — That you, davis76 ? LOL