The larger issue?

I just went through UCLA’s basketball commitments during Ben Howland’s tenure, and this is what I found:

Out of the 20 verbal commitments since 2003-08 who would’ve had four years of eligibility through this year, only seven have stayed the full four years.

Here is the list: Lorenzo Mata, Josh Shipp, Darren Collison, Michael Roll, James Keefe, Nikola Dragovic, Jerime Anderson.

Four stayed three years: Arron Afflalo, Alfred Aboya, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Malcolm Lee.

Four stayed two years: Jordan Farmar, Ryan Wright, Russell Westbrook, J’mison Morgan.

Four stayed one year – Trevor Ariza, Kevin Love, Chase Stanback and Jrue Holliday – and Drew Gordon was gone early in his second year.

Then there are the classes 2009-11:
Tyler Honeycutt (two years), Reeves Nelson (2-plus years), Mike Moser (one year) and Matt Carlino (half year), with nine current players remaining, including four who transferred to UCLA from either a junior college or another four-year school.

So I know the math is funny, because with all the early exits, obviously the team has brought in more recruits than a typical team. But just based on “potential” four-year careers at UCLA – using the max eligibility time – here’s how I figure it works:

Out of 96 possible years of eligibility for the 24 recruited players from 2003-11 who are no longer with the team, they only stayed a combined 59.5 years.

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page
  • Anonymous

    Aboya was 4 yr player

  • Coach Thom

    Quite a list of stats, Jon, but what does it all mean? Has Ben recruited the wrong type of college athlete? Or do the players, once they are in the program, grow weary of Howland and jump ship? Is Ben the victim of a too successful and hallowed history? What….exactly, what were you trying to say?

  • Bruin11

    Aboya stayed 4 years. Carlino didn’t last half a year.

  • MichaelRyerson

    Voodoo math. Lotta numbers signifying nothing. Underlying issues, one-and-dones/asymetrical recruiting, headcases/outside advisors, inbound transfers from other four year schools/offsetting outbound transfers. Absent at least a casual pass at these factors (and others, I did this off the top of my head) the ‘statistics’ in your post don’t really go anywhere.

  • Anonymous

    If you are suggesting Howland is the problem. Look elsewhere.

  • Matt

    This is not a UCLA thing, this is college basketball. The problem has been the misses, specifically a Jerime Anderson or J’Mson Morgan. These are guys that had much higher potential. Give Anderson credit for toughing it out and getting better but when you have so many “one and dones” in college basketball it highlights the recruiting misses.

  • A-Rock

    Aboya stayed 4 years.

  • I see this as an NBA issue. UCLA is known as a launching pad for the NBA. Highly rated players come to UCLA to show of their wares. Those who can, leave for the NBA after one or two years. Those who can’t, blame UCLA and frustrations grow. This is not a Howland issue–he’s just stuck in the middle.

  • Mr. Statistics

    Son, you could have distilled this down to three data points to make the point I think you’re shooting for.

    I caveat that with the difference between making a versbal commitment and signed LOI, the latter being of more importance when dealing with tenn age BOYS(as we say in acaemic cicrles – verbal commitments mean diddily squat).

    Of the number of LOIs under Howland’s tenure what is the:

    1) # of players who stayed 4 years and played

    2) # of players who left to play professional basketball (even if not the NBA)

    3) # of players who left UCLA for another school, or where dismissed reasons.

    Since I don’t have the date, your assignment Jon is to gather the data for LOIs to make your calculations.

    That said, the potential conclusions are thus:

    A) Howland is a good judge of talent considering the number of players in the NBA alone that have come to UCLA during his tenure.

    B) Four year players remained for either their degree, or to hone their talents before the next step.

    C) He’s damned if he does (bring in the best talent looking for a few years before jumping) or raw talent that will last (Collison-like players).

    With so many competing agendas its amazing top college coaches do as well as they do.

  • Anonymous

    Very humble, but I believe Jon Gold is the largest of issues.

  • BruinPain

    Alfred Aboya stayed four years. He completed his BA in three years and started on his MA. Future President of Cameroon!

  • bruins107

    yeah sure many leave as one and done’s moving on to nba, but many defections from howlands tenure are seriously troubling. coach K/calipari/roy williams etc all have to deal with the same defections to the nba or to other programs due to lack of playing time, but they dont have as many disgruntled players as CBH does, and it can be argued some of ucla’s defections to the nba could be due to disenchantment with coach howland’s system or style.

  • Anonymous

    Well documented that past players (NBA or not) have had a beef with Howland. Love didn’t feel like he was properly used (i.e. get me the damn ball old man), which is a fair point. Jrue was miused and not happy about it. Farmar wasn’t exactly thrilled with Howland and bolted after 2 years. Then you have the long list of those that just left or were asked to leave. I believe that DC, AA, and others were fine with Howland. I don’t doubt that the biggest factor for those who left early was the NBA dollars, but that said, there has to be something about Howland that is making that decision way too easy. Coach K is able to squeeze out more years from NBA type of players, and they love him. Howland is way too polarizing. I can understand a coach desiring to run a tight ship, but you need to have some balance. Unless you can constantly re-load like Callipari you can’t afford to have so many early-exits, whether it’s NBA, disgruntled players, or problem players.

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    Anonymous at 4:18: More important than whether there have been documented cases of players who have had a beef with Howland is whether their beef was legitimate. Love, despite what others may claim, was NOT a polished post player in his freshman year. Yes he had tremendous talent and yes he should have been and indeed was a focus of our offense averaging almost 18 ppg, but to think that we could just have dumped the ball into him on every possession (or something to that effect) is not correct. Jrue misused? You expect Howland to start him over senior Collison who had just been a second team all-Pac10 selection? I don’t think so. Yes it’s unfortunate that we had a glut of PGs that year but that’s just the way it goes. Jrue knew Collison was here, and although he may not have anticipated him staying his senior year, the PG position was waiting for him in his sophomore year.

    Coach K being able to “squeeze out” more years from NBA type of players is a myth. Before he won his title a couple of years ago, his ability to recruit top notch talent had dropped way down. In fact I would be willing to bet that there are more UCLA players who have entered the NBA than Duke from 2004 on. Duke is losing its top players just as quickly as anyone else, Kyrie Irving leaving after his freshman year despite hardly playing due to injury is a good example.

    The bottom line is that the kids want to play in the pros, not extend their college careers.

  • bibs

    Using statistics to evaluate talent is a good way to create wrong answers;they lack objectivity.I never played for a coach who kept everybody happy.The best coaches I played for were consistent in their treatment of everybody and never played favorites.