Check out the latest batch of weekly answers…
1) Which will turn around more quickly: the unemployment rate, the housing market or UCLA football? – Anonymous
If things go right for UCLA football in the ways they need to go right – stay healthy on the line and at quarterback, win one more game than expected, show any kind of life on offense – then UCLA football. If not…start buying property.
2) Are the Bruins recruiting Zach Banner (Lincoln Kennedy’s kid) for basketball? He is certainly a top football OT prospect from Washington… and has many basketball offers. He’s about the same size as Josh Smith 6 9″ 290. (both from Washington) Does Ben have any interest? Can he help our team? – Anonymous
No, I don’t believe he’s being recruited for basketball, and that’s a bit of a stretch, but UCLA is also on the outside looking in for football, so don’t get your hopes up.
3) Are the Bruins recruiting Kwayde Miller? His recruiting star is rising. In the past CRN has slow-played local kids in favor of national recruits and got burned in the end. Other Schools have offered. – Anonymous
UCLA is recruiting him but still hasn’t offered FOR SOME REASON. I guess offers at Oregon, Oregon State, Wisconsin, etc. etc. doesn’t matter. I don’t get it, and I never will.
4) What’s the scoop on new assistant basketball coach Korey McCray? What does he bring to the program? How much do you think his hire affect recruiting this year? – Anonymous
I think it’s a great hire and one that’s been a long time coming. Look, Ben Howland is Ben Howland, and whoever sits in that assistant chair needs to know his role with the team is going to be a specific one. Now they have the X’s and O’s guy in Garson, the ultimate player-staff go-between in Phil Mathews, who handled that role well last year, and now an ace recruiter. Or at least, that’s all the indications I get from people who know the recruiting scene much better than I do. Many people have told me off the record that this could be the single most important hire in the country this offseason, simply because it’s Howland becoming self-aware and realizing his limitations as a recruiter. Despite landing some good talent the last couple years – Josh Smith, Honeycutt, etc. – UCLA has also whiffed on a lot, including at the point guard position and especially on the east coast and midwest, so McCray’s contacts and recruiting ability could put the Bruins over the top. This year, obviously, the eye is on Jordan Adams and Shaq Goodwin, and really, if McCray led to either, it would be worth it.
5) Did you see a different attitude in the players in the spring practice? Do you think Johnson and Tresey can bring a change in the culture at UCLA? – Legalsean
It’s a little to ask if the culture can be changed after 15 spring practices when the players had barely met the coaches a month before, but I will say that Tresey and Johnson seemed to increase the level of intensity pretty quickly. How that translates, I don’t know.