Ben Howland Conference Call Pt. 1

UCLA head coach Ben Howland on the announcement that the team would play 14 games at the Sports Arena and four at the Honda Center next season:
“We knew that when we closed Pauley for the year of the remodel, that nothing would be as good as being on campus. But I’m excited, based on proximity to campus for our students and for the fans who’ve attended Pauley all these years, that”s the closest facility. They’re going to make it nice for us, dress it up. What I go back to is John Wooden’s team played there prior to opening of Pauley. Anything good enough for Coach is good enough for us and for me. We’re going to play the bulk of our games there with the exception of four games in Anaheim, and that will be a nice thing for our fans in Orange County as we take our show on the road for the one year.”

On UCLA playing USC at the Sports Arena:
“It’s funny that I didn’t even think about that. Our season ticket holders, and our fans, will have the availability of being there first.”

On being able to check out the arena’s condition:
“We’ve had a whole team of admins who’ve been over there, and they’ve been really, really good to us. They’re going to make a number of aesthetic changes for us that I think will make it more than nice. We’re really appreciative of the people at the Sports Arena.”

On how this affects recruiting:
“I don’t think it affects it at all. All the recruits we’re talking to in the 2012 class aren’t going to be playing in the Sports Arena, they’re going to be playing in the $150-million renovation in the brand new Pauley. I think it has zero affect on recruiting.”

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