Weekly Answers, Pt. 2

Check out the latest batch of weekly answers…

1) I witness the greatest performance ever by a Mexican basketball player last night. I can’t name you a Mexican or Mexican American basketball player with that type of skill in NCAA division one or the NBA. Jorge Gutirrez is amazing. He plays like Steve Nash. Can you imagine if he played here at UCLA with the huge Latino base of Bruin fans! – eastsidebruin
I have long called Gutierrez my favorite player to watch in the Pac-10. I covered him extensively when he was at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas, and I was working for the LV Review-Journal, and he’s only gotten better. He was one of the less-heralded players at Findlay – there were recruits from Kansas, Kentucky and I think a couple other major majors when I covered them – and yet he went out and won two showcase tournament MVPs when I watched. Just love his game, though I will say, I was shocked by what happened Sunday. UCLA is better than that.

2) Where would SD State finish if the basketball team were in the PAC-10? Are they really lots better than Arizona, Washington and UCLA or they’d just be in the hunt with them for the title? – San Diego Therapist
I think it’s quite clear that San Diego State is among the best teams in the country. I think it would be a battle with Arizona, but I think SDSU is much better. The composition of the team is just special, and probably a product of benefiting from Pac-10 early entries.

3) Why all the NBA hype on Honeycutt? I love Honeycutt and know he is a great player and has phenomenal potential, but he makes some of the worst passes I’ve ever seen! He turns the ball over ALOT and it was demonstrated again last night vs Cal. – Nick
The NBA is all about potential, especially if there is some kind of lockout, which would make immediate contribution even less important. Then you take the idea that Honeycutt is still developing as a basketball player, and you understand that he could be an attractive option. That being said, he could absolutely benefit from another year at UCLA, and I think he really needs to evaluate his options.

4) is UCLA going after Cesar Guerrero or former tarhill drew? – CJ003
From what I understand, no UCLA is not pursuing Guerrero heavily, and the Drew thing is at a bit of a standstill. I think Howland knows he needs to really evaluate character as much as talent going forward, and he’ll take less flyers on guys.

5) Do you think that CRN has made a real upgrade in the coaching staff? – Clyde
I think it’s very difficult to gauge the success of this offseason until the next offseason – will the players respond to Mike Johnson’s more hard-nosed style? Will Joe Tresey get the most out of a defense that doesn’t have a ton of ready-made NFL talent? Will Jim Mastro not just shore up the running game, but present a unique matchup problem for opposing defenses? – but you can certainly judge the last group and say that no, they didn’t get it done. In some cases, I just think they needed to tinker with the chemistry; there is little doubt Norm Chow is an offensive mastermind, but he has to have the pieces, and he has to be unimpeded. In other cases, like Reggie Moore, the on-field production was clearly lacking. Ultimately, the one way that Neuheisel upgraded the staff is that these are now his guys, with his reputation – and potentially his job – at stake.

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  • cliq

    “I think it’s very difficult to gauge the success of this offseason until the next offseason”
    you mean by if they still have their jobs or not?

  • Anonymous

    I’m so tired of hearing Chow “has to have the pieces”! Sorry, performance is based on making due on what you have…same for business, same for sports. Can we stop making excuses for Chow? Remove the name Norm Chow, what would you say then? Norm Chow was like the ideal candidate on paper…glowing background, and resume looked good. Newsflash! People get hire on their background, but once you start a job, no one cares about your background anymore…must prove your worth at position today.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/ucla Jon Gold

    That’s a very fair criticism.

  • localbruin

    Once the future NFL “pieces” were removed, Chow’s career began skidding downhill faster than a tobaggan on the Matterhorn. His stubborn adherence to pocket passing and disdain for running QBs seems out of date. His play calling was highly conventional and predictable. He took a bad offense and made it finish nearly DFL in D1.

    That’s a “mastermind”? No, that’s someone rooted in mid-1980s football, a set in his ways old dog who could never learn new tricks. Let’s leave the “mastermind” tag where it belongs, in spy novels.

  • SorryButNo

    Sorry local but I disagree. Pocket abs are not “outdated”. It comes down to management. Clearly norm was micro managed. Frankly, I cant stand micro management. Nor can the majority of people, it takes away the liberty of creativity and finding a unique system that really works. All of the people I know who micro manage heavily have a real problem retaining staff and improving their business system. Same goes for this, Norm did not have free reign that was very evident. He never really had full reigns of this offense, hence the switch to pistol, QB play, and several other examples I am sick and tired of thinking about.

    Also, pretty sure a “pocket QB” and system worked JUST fine for a team that just won the superbowl…