Some Howland press conference notes

* UCLA head coach Ben Howland said today during a conference call that Tyler Lamb would be back in the starting lineup against Arizona. Norman Powell got the start in Lamb’s place against Arizona State after Lamb missed an academic appointment.

* Howland also said that Joshua Smith hurt his back and is unsure of his status for Arizona:
“Josh actually did a good job for us last night. I’m not sure how bad it is, but he tweaked his back today during practice. I don’t know if it’s a muscle spasm or what.”

* Howland on Anthony Stover:
“Anthony played with real good energy. Did a good job with us defensively. He’s enthusiastic. Plays real hard when he gets in there.”

* Howland on Travis Wear’s 20-point performance against Arizona:
“He scored inside. He did a good job scoring using his height advantage inside. We got it to him inside and he got some second shots, but he scored well close to the basket.”

* Howland on why it’s so difficult to play at Arizona:
“No. 1 it’s packed – they do a great job supporting their team. It’s a college town, so it’s the only show in town and they all show up in Tucson to support their Wildcats. All started with Lute Olson and what he built here and it’s years of consistency in terms of being a good team and a good program.”

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  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    We may have the only center in the country who throws his back out while picking up a dropped doughnut.

  • UCLASteve

    Whatever. We play better without Smith in the lineup. Won the last time against AZ without him so why not try it again?

  • Blue Bruin

    The tide is turning and people are jumping on my bandwagon. Howland is feeling the heat. Go read the letters in the Times today…

  • Marc

    nestor and tydides; I will find you one day. KNOW THAT!!!

  • Marc

    The three officials calling this game against Arizona need to be taught a lesson.

    Absolutely horrid officiating to this point!

  • Nestor’s Mother

    I realize that the haterade is out in 22oz glasses, but how is a coach at fault for a “shooting” guard going 1 for 12? At least Anderson kept up his end of the game!!

    Realizing that Little Nessie and his Greek-based “homies” (as they refer to one another – not quite sure what that means. Of course they all live in homes; albeit their parent’s basement) are going bonkers over on BN and are ready to burn Coach Howland in effigy, if I allowed him to play with matches, a coach can only go so far with abysmal players.

    Beyond the hysteria, the other day, the Greeks were down in the playroom with Nessie and were becoming unusually obstreperous with highly vocal (albeit in their testosterone-driven sopranos) arguments over the relative prowess of Transformers versus G.I. Joe. I put my foot down when I brought them lemonade and “chockie-chip cooks” (as Nessie calls them) and demanded for some quiet time in research.

    I directed them to look up the success of various NCAA basketball programs over the last ten years. So…Nessie, being Mr. Bossypants, had one of his younger minions, Artimis (a kind of strange name since it means “Goddess of the Moon and Hunt”) compile the data and the young pledge came up with the following:

    The “best” coaches (as determined by appearances in the final four, with an opportunity to win a title) were:
    ~ Roy Williams (5): 2 championships, 1 runner up, 2 in other two [Two different teams]
    ~ Jim Calhoun (3): 2 championship, 0 runner up, 1 in other two [NCAA violations in 2009]
    ~ Ben Howland (3): 0 championships, 1 runner up, 2 in other two
    ~ Tom Izzo (3): 0 championships, 1 runner up, 2 in other two
    ~ Brad Stevens (2): 0 championships, 2 runners up, 0 in other two
    ~ Mike Kryzewski (2): 1 championship, 0 runner up, 1 in other two
    ~ Billy Donovan (2): 2 championships, 0 runner up, 0 in other two

    Furthermore, Mr. Howland (who seems to offer the boys as much frustration as does Betty Lou Bielowski — if you know what I mean), beyond being #3 in Final Four games, is also #4 in overall winning percentage, while he is #2 in conference winning percentage among this august group.

    Presented with these facts, the Greekys held their nose and gave the thumbs down against Mr. Howland, in spite of him being one of the most effective coaches of the last decade. The howls went up which each of the little-Greeks espousing some other coach from some bush league as a better choice for the Bruins…even in light of their own research!!! Finally, Nessie had enough and he told them all that when he wanted their opinions, he would give it to them. That’s my boy!!

  • Pew Research

    Today’s BruinsNation UCLA V Arizona thread had 859 comments at the final buzzer, of that total Nestor and the Greeks had 12% of the comments, 13 of the highly active commentors had a typical 41%, while the ‘casual” commentors had an astonishing 36%, the 17 “drop-ins” had the remaining 11%.

    We do see that the “casual” commentors have taken up the nuevo-Nestor term, “dumpster fire” with relish, repeating it in their comments as if they were kissing up to their 5th grade teacher…which may very well be the case.

  • post move

    I’m not a Smith fan, but don’t you want him in the game on the last possession to make AZ guard the paint instead of pressuring everything on the perimeter?

  • The Blur

    @ post move:

    Yes. Thank goodness someone recognizes how badly we need Smith. Also, would have been nice to have a timeout for the last shot. Jerime Anderson one on one? Ridiculous. If you want to see horrible basketball, just compile all of our final possessions this year in one-possession games. We come up with the worst plays when we need good ones the most.