NBE Basketball Podcast w/ Raphielle Johnson

I joined Raphielle Johnson of NBE Sports for about 20 minutes of me saying “Y’know” and talking about UCLA basketball. Interesting questions about UCLA’s 0-2 start, Shabazz Muhammad, the Bruins’ recent recruiting misfortunes and why they can still win the Pac-12.

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  • romeojam

    Damn Jon Gold… You nailed UCLA basketball’s current and future status on the head!!! Great interview! Well done!!

  • Anonymous

    Ralphie needs to drop his enthusiasm level a notch. His excitement was overwhelming. Conversely, well done Jon.

  • anonymous

    GREAT insight Jon. Those were all the things I saw but couldn’t put it into words

  • Anonymous

    Totally nailed it Jon. Tracy said the same thing…Howland lost his identity and isnt getting the same type of players.

    Howland will have to scour the east coast for his type of guys. The westcoast is hard to find those guys. And get a frickin PG!

  • Anonymous


    I agreed with a lot of what you said, however I don’t think CBH should be blamed for everything that went wrong with the 2008 recruiting class. It was recognized as the top recruiting class of the year and at the time even compared to the Fab Five on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Is it fair to blame Howland for bringing in a top-rated class?

    Of course the class didn’t live up to its billing, but sometimes things just don’t go your way. After a solid 2008-09 season, the 2009-10 team struggled because we lost two huge potential contributors in Holiday and Gordon, and Anderson just could not deliver at the PG position.

    In 2009 we brought in another strong class with Honeycutt (local), Nelson (California), Stover (local), and Lane (local), in 2010 Smith (Washington), Jones (Chicago),and Lamb (local). This year we added the Wears (OC), Parker (California), and Powell (California). Next year we’ll add Drew (local), Anderson and Adams (both out of state), and we are in the running for the overall no. 1 Muhammad. Personally I don’t see a drop-off in the talent level nor necessarily in the “type” of player we have been accustomed to. I project the Wears, Stover, Lane, and Lamb as dependable if not spectacular 4-year players, and next year’s class has the potential to be special.

    As I see it, *the* biggest reason we have not been as successful since 2009 is essentially guard play. It’s no coincidence that we bounced back in 2010 after a dreadful 2009 because of our improved guard play. Jones was one of our better players for most of the season, Lee matured into a great defender and scoring threat, and Anderson had by far his most consistent and productive season. While any number of reasons can be cited as to why we lost the first two games of this season, I think the common thread of awful guard play reared its ugly head again. For some reason Jones has not been himself in these two games, and unfortunately I don’t think Lamb is up to the task of starting off guard. I fully expect Jones to bounce back and play better, and if we can get solid contributions from Parker and Powell, I think we will see a completely different UCLA team.

    Unless you have a player like an Alcindor or Walton, arguably the most important player on the floor is always the point guard. IMHO, for future recruiting classes, CBH needs to consistently focus on bringing in solid PGs and always having at least one or two good shooters on the roster that can play the niche role of zone buster, even if they are not the greatest athletes. This is another reason we need to be able to play zone so that any potential defensive liability from less athletic but accurate shooters can be mitigated by a good zone defense. Hopefully Powell will develop into a dependable outside threat, and next year we have Drew lined up at PG, so our guard play should be fine.

    Anyway my 2 cents.