Check out the latest batch of weekly answers…
1) Still wondering how Howland blew out his Achilles. Tough injury, frequently seen in middle-aged guys trying to play hoops. Will undoubtedly restrict his ability to demonstrate things in practices, e. g., defensive stances, setting picks, footwork. – Sleepy LaBeef
All I’ve heard is he did it away from the court, and it was a fluke injury. His recovery is going well, though, and I’ve seen shots of him from the various camps and he seems to be doing fine on one leg.
2) How hard is it to learn the offensive or defensive playbook at the collegiate level? is it tougher than learning freshman calculus? – steve
It is without a doubt the hardest aspect of college football to complete.
3) Why don’t more former players of Wooden dispel the Gilbert accusations? Or is it because they can’t? Why doesn’t Walton call out Wetzel for fabricating quotes that say Walton took so many benefits? Why allow Jay Bilas to go unscathed? Why won’t former players defend Wooden’s reputation? – Anonymous
But I’ll wrap up my answer like this: Some players don’t feel the accusations are worth justifying. Maybe others feel they did receive improper benefits. College basketball was under a much smaller microscope back then, and compared to today’s SS-like monitoring of most high-profile programs, it really was a different landscape. I have no idea what really went on in the 60s with Gilbert, and I don’t think anyone really knows the true story except Gilbert and the players he was in contact with – not even Wooden – and maybe those players are taking it to the grave.
4) USC just landed a commitment from a 4*(rivals) OLB named Kent turene. Was the hiring of Kiffin and Orgeron the worst thing to happen to Neuheisal in regards to recruiting? they are cleaning up the SOCAL and getting out of state studs despite the sanctions and we’re pulling in 2-3 star players. – bruing blue blood
It’s very easy to recruit well when you have a specific pitch. For the current recruits it’s, “We’ve been on top for a decade and now everyone is doubting us, yadda yadda yadda.” Give it two years. If USC wins, its business as usual. If they lose, I don’t care how good Kiffin and Orgeron, the recruiting follows. Don’t forget: Orgeron was 10-25 at Ole Miss and was canned. All the stars and rankings in the world mean squat if you don’t win.
5) Was the UCLA coaching staff heartbroken that Milton Knox decided to transfer? I thought Knox played well in limited minutes, but he was obviously buried in the depth chart. What were his shortcomings as a player? Thanks! – Sunset Bruin
Clearly they weren’t heartbroken, or he would’ve gotten more playing time. Really, I think it comes down to the fact that Norm Chow typically uses big running backs, or at least prefers them, and Knox clearly wasn’t a big running back. Now, I’m not saying that Chow needs a Brandon Jacobs, but he wants his backs to block and catch out of the backfield extensively, and while Knox was a decent blocker, he just wasn’t going to crack the starting lineup. That being said…I don’t think he got a fair shake. I liked his game a lot.