I sat down with UCLA head coach Ben Howland for an extended interview on Tuesday, and here’s the last part…
Gold: OK, so what happened last year?
Howland “Last year was really a culmination of all the guys we lost, making some recruiting mistakes in terms of character judgments, and it was really a tough year for us. The plus the last year was the Honeycutt and Nelson got a lot of experience. This year, for me is about turning the program around back in the right direction. We’re on the way toward building something special.”
Gold: How difficult is the rebuilding, compared to building?
“Well, in 04-05 we barely got in the NCAA tourney. we were young. Farmar and Afflalo were freshmen. We were piecemeal. We were starting three freshmen. The next year, when we added Mbah-a moute and added Alfred and Collison we really took off. we went from an 11-seed to going to the national championship game the next year. It’s a building process you go through. Even the year before that, we had a losing season.”