Check out the first batch of weekly answers…
1) Kevin “31/31” Love a senior on this year’s team. UCLA goes 40-0? – Anonymous
No, but a Final Four run would be expected. But don’t torture yourself. Love was not going to stay two years, much less three years, much much less four years.
2) Do you know if Coach Neuheisel will get a contract extension? Do you think any of the current members of the staff won’t be back next year? – Legalsean
It’s a little too early to tell on both. I think we’ll learn a lot about this team over the next three weeks, and the direction things are going to go.
3) Do the players seem happier with the change in offensive style that Howland has brought to this team? – Legalsean
If they smiled any wider, I’d think Howland was pumping laughing gas into the vents. Look, this is not going to suddenly transform a good-but-not-great team into a Final Four squad. But it is clear that a faster tempo suits all but Joshua Smith, and even that – Smith’s bulk in contrast to everyone else’s litheness – is a good thing. As long as the turnovers are curtailed, that is.
4) Is there a go to guy if it came down to a last shot in a close game with the basketball team? Who do you think Coach would trust to take the shot? – John
That’s the biggest question mark at the moment. One good thing that I’ve noticed through three games, and briefly touched on in the Joshua Smith post from yesterday, is that there are multiple options in this offense, and that can’t be understated. If they need a quick three, Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee get it. If they need a drive, the ball goes to Zeke Jones or Lee. I don’t think a team needs one “go-to-guy,” particularly in college, but so far this year, I’d have to think it’s Honeycutt, despite Reeves Nelson’s production.
5) Basketball question. Do you think that Phil Mathews’ presence on the coaching staff has anything to do with the change to an up-tempo style of play? – Spencer
Not a tremendous impact. Ben Howland runs things the way Ben Howland wants to run things, and I think it was set in his mind that he needed to change things, and change things drastically, this season. But Mathews is a great backcourt coach, and he’s doing some good things with Zeke Jones, who looks fantastic.