Howland statement on his return

From UCLA:

“”This past season has been the most challenging of my 31 years as a college basketball coach. I have endured seasons with fewer wins, but none with more disappointment. The unfavorable light that is cast upon our program is my responsibility as the UCLA head coach. But we will get better and I will get better.

Dan and I have had lengthy conversations about how we as a program and I as a coach can improve and we are in agreement that improvements need to be made. In fact, I welcome the opportunity. I want to thank Dan for his belief in me and in our future at UCLA.

I have poured my heart and soul into coaching my entire adult life and having the honor of being the Head Coach at UCLA is a dream that is still hard to grasp as real. I love this place.

I love walking by the Hall of Fame and seeing the success of so many Bruin teams;

I love the tradition, the values, the expectations, the fans, the passion for winning championships here.

We have some quality young men in our program right now and we look forward to adding outstanding recruits to join them next year.

Make no mistake–we will work hard every day to build upon this year’s nineteen win season and make the Bruin family proud of who we are and what we accomplish.”

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  • Anonymous

    Blah, Blah, Blah.

  • ‘Nuff Said

    It’s done…so publicly CBH just STFU…

    …go about your business,

    1) get your next Frosh class through the enrollment process,

    2) have the Ware boyz playing LA Summer pro ball, and

    3) have Smith on a diet and if he doesn’t show up in Sept at 300 pounds, cut him and drive him over to Occidental to finish his degree.

    One more year to prove you can turnaround a shipwrecked team, step up the discipline among players, and get back into being at least a regionally respected team.

  • Bruintx

    Unlike most people, I have no problem with Howland keeping his job… assuming he makes some changes. He has proven himself many times over at turning a program around. This is the first time he has had to turn his own program around though.

    He didn’t just become a lousy coach all of the sudden.

    However, I do think he lost sight of his own values and forgot how he became so successful. Personally, I think the pressure to win it all after his triple Final Four was the main cause (whether real or self-inflicted — probably a combination of both). He put himself under such pressure, he went after talent alone and turned a blind eye regarding a player’s character if he was considered good enough.

    If he can get “back to his basics”, I think he’ll/we’ll be fine. If he sticks with his ways of the last couple years, he/we are doomed.

  • Bob

    Thats enough for me to say lets move forward. The AD and the coach have addressed what needs to be done. Go Howland, Go Bruins. Let get this thing back on track.

  • Anonymous

    We’ll be fine. Unlike the Nestorites, who will have to rationalize something when we win next year. They’ll spin it like they work for a politician.

  • The Blur

    I think bruintx’s comments are pretty insightful, and I agree with one possible exception: if “getting back to basics” means recruiting less talented but high character players, I’m not exactly down with that plan. I want more consensus #1 classes. As I said in a previous thread, I’m baffled that the ’08 class went 0-fer. I can’t accept that the entire class was so lazy, overrated, and malcontented that none of them could work out at Ucla. Lots of coaches wanted those players so I don’t think they were the “wrong” guys, aside from Reeves. Howland needs to change, but not the players he’s recruiting. Guys like Holiday and Smith being non factors at Ucla is a travesty. Would that have happened at Duke or Kentucky?

    Ben needs to be back next year, albeit on the hot seat. He’s a talented coach and I don’t believe people can be too old to learn and change.

  • PV Bruin

    everybody deserves a chance….even if it might be the last one.

    I think the SI article, no matter it was right or wrong, was a wake up call for coach.

    Next year with the new talents, new Pauley, plus the support of home court, there will be no more excuse.

    Go Bruins!

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Ok, he survives to coach UCLA again. Great. Have fun storming the castle. Maybe get us back to a Final 4 or something, huh?

    But QUIT your ooohs and aaahs of the UCLA hallways, trophy cases, aura, etc. and etc. You’ve been here now for a decade, so act like it.

    Even the wizard passed during your tenure. So go get this done. Lead. That’s what leaders do, you know? They lead. So get busy. We back you, don’t doubt that. But don’t fuck this up any worse or you will be back coaching at double-directional once again.

    Fitting that if CRN was given one last shot in football, then CBH should deserve one in hoops. Rick couldn’t handle being on perhaps the country’s hottest seat his last year.

    We’ll see how CBH handles it. And this time, there is nothing else to blame but himself. Can’t blame Pauley, can’t blame the donuts under Big Josh’s bed, can’t blame Reeves and his pissing matches and, and, and …

    Lead Ben, that’s what you are paid the big bucks to do.

    P.S. And learn how to use TO’s … you drive me nuts.

  • Anonymous

    Any UCLA basketball coach that does not make the
    ncaa tourney from now on should be fired immediately!! It should be in the coaches contract. Howland has embarrassed us by saying he would’ve accepted an NIT bid! What a damn shame!

  • Word from Deadwood

    I have no doubt that Howland’s record the last 3 years is strong enough for him to be back next year as our coach. He has a winning record. That is a positive. I think I saw him coach some winning games or was I even at the game? I would show up more at games if the fans don’t boo me so much. 3 more months and it’s off to wine tasting. Yeepee. Ciao for now.

  • Anonymous

    We’ll see what the excuses are for next year. Maybe complaints about the floors at the renovated Pauley? Injured “all-world players” that are really bench warmers? “Unexpected” transfers/dismissals?

    I still doubt that UCLA makes a deep run in the tournament (even with Anderson and Adams) next year. Anderson, while skilled and polished for a freshman, looks slow and not athletic. Let’s hope that he is as good as advertised. Adams looks like he is one dimensional. Not familiar with Larry Drew, but like I said about the Wear twins last year, the UNC fans weren’t exactly crying about them transferring. We’re getting all the UNC rejects (non-impact players). Maybe it’s good enough to finish in the top half of the pathetic Pac-12 but not a deep tourney run. Lamb has been a disappointment, and Powell did not live up to expectations. Enough has been said about Josh Smith.

    So… Unless they land Shabazz and other NBA talents this does not look good for UCLA/Howland. Of course, we need to understand what the expectations are from Guerrero. Is getting to a tourney good enough? One win in the tourney? My guess is that another weak year from the Pac-12 saves Howland’s job again. Expectations have been lowered, so a tourney birth may be good enough.

  • BruinFaithful

    BruinTX:

    It’s not that BH forgot how to coach, it’s that he forgot to adapt. When he was at Northern AZ, he didn’t have great athletes or depth, but he had shooters. So what did he do? He didn’t play crazy man D, but he did have his team play at a frenzied pace and jack up a lot of threes. BH’s Northern AZ teams scored more 3′s with a better percentage than anybody in the country for a few years.

    Then he gets to the Big East, where physical play is key, and he again adapts, getting his guys in the weight room and playing a physical brand of BB. A completely different style than he had at Northern AZ.

    At UCLA he comes in and recruits a combination of talented guys and role players who are physical and want to win and will sell their soul to do so. He had the right guys to do it. However, when those guys leave, he doesn’t have the horses to replace them, so does he adapt? NO. He tries to play the same brand of physical D, even though he doesn’t have the players nor the depth to do so. At the end of games, guys are huffing and puffing and playing 35-40 minutes. You can see how guys wear down at the end of games. Shots and FT’s are short and leads are given up and games are lost. Not only that, but the Pac-10 adapts to his one dimensional Defenses and Offenses. And his oppossing coaches do what he should have done, play man D but also multiple Zone D’s, which his teams can NEVER overcome. He also runs the same boring one dimensional plays over and over again. Even when they aren’t working. So to answer your question, yes, BH has forgotten how to coach. He has forgotten how to coach, because he no longer coaches to the strengths of his teams. He has forgotten how to coach because he has become hard headed and set in his ways.

    Not too long ago, the same question was asked of a certain coach who had gone 11-1, 10-2, and 10-2 at his previous stops. People made excuses about the talent level, but the players never improved, never played to the best of their abilities, lacked discipline on and off the field, and well, never put it together. Sound familiar?

  • MichaelRyerson

    Piss and moan. Jesus blur, here’s your ’08 class, J’mason Morgan has gone on to do nothing, nada, Drew Gordon left in a huff and went on to post essentially the exact same points-per-minutes at NM that he posted in his last full year at UCLA and against weaker competition, Lee and Honeycutt got shitty advice leaving early because they saw guaranteed money coming their way, both slipped to the second round and didn’t get their guaranteed money, they’ll both turn out to be nice journeymen, what would you like Howland to do about that? We all pretty much agree, it turns out, Nelson was a pox on the team, ran Carlino off and reportedly pissed on a teammate’s clothes, some of which may very well turn out to be untrue but his brief ‘career’ in Lithuania seems to support the pox thing (Howland’s biggest error here was in not running Nelson off sooner, much sooner). And Smith eats too much and Holiday was a one-and-done all along, where’s the travesty? Short of incarcerating Smith and putting him on an IV and forcing the NCAA to change the underclassmen rules, I’ll take fewer oneanddones and more character in a heartbeat. And, while our ’08 class seems to have been a perfect storm, yes these things do happen at Kentucky and Duke.

  • The Blur

    Reyerson, I hear you but it just sounds like excuses at this point. I don’t buy this “perfect storm” crap anymore. Bobo was a bust. Fine. Gordon is a better athlete than anyone we have save for Powell. You wouldn’t want him on the team? He left because he didn’t like playing for Howland. Lee became a decent player but not a star. He left too early for presumably many reasons, but one was clearly he didn’t enjoy playing at Ucla enough to stay. Honeycutt had tremendous talent but often seemed disinterested and aloof. He also decided to leave too early – his experience at Ucla wasn’t enjoyable enough to stick around for. Holiday was a top guard – extremely talented – who looked bored and restrained. Another year in college and he could’ve been a top 10 pick. He didn’t want to stick around. Josh Smith was the top center recruit in the nation. He looks bored, disengaged, and out of shape. To him, the experience at Ucla obviously isn’t worth the dedication needed to reach his full potential. Shall I continue? Stanback? Moser? Carlino? How many times does this need to happen before the perfect storm excuse no longer applies?

    Even Luc left a year early. The last person who “stayed” was Collison, who really should have stayed anyway. When was the last time you heard a player gush about their experience at Ucla? I was a student when Ed O announced he would return for his senior year because he loved playing here and wanted to win a championship. The next year he did exactly that. College athletes have productive careers at their schools and sometimes stay longer than they need to because they love it so much. Just not at Ucla.

  • TGBRUIN

    Blur, let’s consider the reasons why a kid would want to leave a program early. 1. They think they are ready for the next level and everything that goes with it; money, fame, etc. 2. They don’t like to study and generally dislike academics. They want to start their “carrer” 3. They just cannot get along with the team (either coach or other team members). 4. They aren’t “having fun” or loving the program as much as they anticipated. Life is hard 5. They become home sick or something happens in their family requiring them to be closer to home.
    I am guessing #4, which you called out – they aren’t loving playing at UCLA is near the bottom. Let’s face it, even for athletes, who get tutoring help, UCLA is a tough school. It takes a certain type of kid to be an athlete at a major D-1 school which is also known as a top academic institution. It’s like 2 full time jobs. Schools like Duke, Cal, Stanford, UCLA (and others) fight for the ultra achievers – top prospects with good grades, good character and maturity. It’s hard to look into a 17 year old kid’s eyes and see everything.
    I say let’s give Howland a muligan and move on. Go Bruins.

  • localbruin

    Having gone through the march of the Wooden soldiers, I am ecstatic to have BH as coach. Sure, he’s thrown up some airballs lately, but I believe him when he says he loves the place, the basketball program and its tradition. He gets it.

    Most of success is desire, wanting it more than the next guy. BH wants to be Ucla’s coach, is a man of discipline and high character who will be very successful over time here.

  • MichaelRyerson

    Really, that’s all you got? So a rough patch with a proven coach and you show them the door? Smith looks bored and disengaged? Maybe if his vertical was out of the single digits he’d be ‘interested’ again. Hahaha. Look, get educated. Edgar Lacey? Sam Gilbert? Ancient history. How about Ty Walker at Wake Forest, another big man who never lived up to the hype, dismissed for a violation of team rules. Jelan Kendrick? Star recruit for Memphis? Duke Mondy at Providence, the fifth player in a seven man incoming class to leave the program in two years? Duke Crews and Ramar Smith at University of Tennesee? Dismissed, failed drug tests. Look Bruce Pearl is a jerk but what could he have done to insure these two guys made good on the opportunity that was right in front of them? But you’re hung up on players leaving early by their own choice and since I mentioned ‘Duke’ let’s talk about Duke and Coach K, everybody’s favorite comparison. And since we’re anguishing over the class of ’08 let’s go back just a tad further. Remember when Duke lost Mike Dunleavy, Jr? Billy Packer said, ‘’That was the final chapter in the evolution of the college game,’ of the increasing number of underclassmen going professional. Sophomores Elton Brand and William Avery and freshman Corey Maggette – all entered the draft after Duke lost to Connecticut in the NCAA title game. Juniors Jason Williams and Carlos Boozer left after the 2002 season. Dunleavy’s going was maybe the worst blow, though, as he was expected to be the focus of Duke’s title run in 2002. He was the sixth underclassman to leave Duke early in four seasons. Then ESPN questioned the academics among Duke athletes and suggested the school bends entry requirements for basketball recruits (they had charts) and noted that an unusually high number of players were studying ‘sociology’. Basically this reporting by ESPN amounted to little more than a cheap shot directed at a successful program and coach. What was being said about Coach K and Duke could have been said about 98% of the division1 schools with basketball programs. But this kind of thing makes for great teasers and lead-ins and sell advertising (just ask SI). Blue Devils and potential Blue Devils also had several run-ins with the law, including a top recruit being dismissed from his high school team after being accused of rape and further humiliation when one of its players got into a physical confrontation with an official after an NCAA tournament loss. Any of this sound familiar? Is any of this Coach K’s fault? Yeah, probably some of it. Could he have seen any of this coming? Again, yeah, probably some of it. The rape? The punchout of an official? No, of course not, but it is his program, right? So ultimately the responsibility is his. Should Coach K have seen these guys going out early? How much of that was his fault? He recruited them, he coached them and they left or were forced out. Would Duke have been better off to simply fire Coach K and start over with a clean slate? When you look at his tournament record through this period (2002-2003, 2005-2006, 2009) he compares favorably with Steve ‘sweet 16’ Lavin or in 2004 to Coach ‘three final fours’ Howland. I’m sure some Duke alumni were wondering if he still ‘had it’ and if he maybe had lost touch with his players and the standards of the university. Do you think they’re glad they stuck with him? Do you think Coach K learned anything during these years and maybe made some adjustments to his approach? Our recruiting class of 2008 was unusual but not unprecedented and now the hole that group (and Love and Holiday and Nelson) left in the program has cycled through. Howland has coached at a high level before and he deserves a chance to do it again right here. Should he be on the hot seat? Sure. But just because there are plausible explanations for what has happened over the last four or five years doesn’t make them ‘excuses’.

  • Semi-Pro

    ^^^ So much Win.

  • Anonymous

    TG and Reyerson, you guys make good points. I think “mulligan” is an appropriate term, and I’m okay with it. I’m not ready to show Howland the door just yet. I know there are other cases and not everybody pans out, but this streak of “missing” on guys is way too long at this point. And it really started when Howland began recruiting superior high school talent. I think it’s fair to question how Howland’s handled these players. Back to the Duke comparison, Coach K never missed on so many players in such a short time frame. And when was the last time they had a losing record or missed the tourney 2 out of 3 years? And I’m just not ready to compare Ucla to programs like Tennessee, Wake, and Providence. I know Coach K is a tough comparison, but any Ucla coach not being compared to Wooden is getting a break IMO.

    Sorry if I come across as contentious. That’s not my intent. I’m just so frustrated with Bruin hoops, and like many other alum am tired of excuses. Howland should be back, but it’s time to produce next year. Yes, I do think Coach K still learns as he goes. Now Howland has to.

  • MichaelRyerson

    ‘Howland has coached at a high level before and he deserves a chance to do it again right here. Should he be on the hot seat? Sure.’

  • Amillennialist

    MichaelRyerson nailed it.

    That giant sucking sound you hear is Nestor’s head imploding.

  • FIGHTONtoVICTORY

    BruinTodd said:
    UcLA need tournament I city….who wins know? Laffing in to the bank the bruins fight Fight FIGHT

    Baseball? Domonayshin
    Basketball? Towtel domonayshin
    Football? Will be a towtel domonayshin now that CJM is here with Russian beest and hundley and new guy from New Jerzey!
    ————————————————-
    This is the best trolling you bRuins can do? I’m not even sure that this guy knows how to properly speak English.

  • MPP Bruin

    Interesting question: Are people happy that we’re keeping Howland, or happy that we didn’t have to fire the coach?

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, but the best use of the term ‘perfect storm’ was during 1995, when we won the NCAA championship. Ed O stayed on and did get that title, but that was not the norm. LA sports fans are doing a lot more yipping and yapping from their armchairs than in decades past. None of them are fine examples of championship athletes. In my opinion, we have far too many Jim Romes out there and not enough Jim Everetts. Better to applaud when they win a title – it is rare, rather than whine with a keyboard about the imperfection witnessed when they do not.

  • Anonymous

    Quit all of your bellyaching and complaining. The decision has been made. Howland is staying, at least for next year, so get over it and move on.

  • BNation Blows

    That giant sucking sound you hear is Nelson & Bellephron; BNation blows in stereo, too!

  • anon

    all the bad seeds are now gone from the program except for Josh Smith and Anthony Stover so at least there’s hope for the future… let’s all forget the classes of 2008 (Jrue Holiday, Jerime Anderson Malcolm Lee, J’Mison Morgan) and 2009 (Tyler Honeycutt, Brendan Lane, Mike Moser, Reeves Nelson, and Anthony Stover) and pretend they never existed…

  • John Stewart

    @local bruin

    Love the play on words…
    “…march of the Wooden soldiers.”

    Can go unheralded, mon!

  • BruinInSeattle

    ive also been there all along, through the march of the “wooden soldiers” as local bruin so aptly put it…from cunningham to bartow, farmer, hazzard, etc…and am very happy that howland — who knows how to coach, is learning to adapt to the specifics of the job at ucla, and by now is well aware of what he needs to fix — is staying put. a mulligan is also an apt term for what needs to happen. at some point, the revolving door of coaching at ucla must stop, and this is a good coach to keep…one of the best in the country. since we know he is good, lets work with him to improve and take the program higher. its not the same game as when wooden, or even harrick (who was slime) coached. things are vastly different. whoever thinks success can be bought by buying the best coach is ridiculously mistaken.

    i throw my lot behind howland, too.

  • Anonymous

    Revolving door? Harrick was here for 8 seasons. Lavin another 7 years. Howland for 9 seasons.

    Who has the higher winning % as UCLA coach Harrick or Howland? Not close. Harrick 75.6%, Howland 68.1%. Which coach made the NCAA tournament every year at UCLA Harrick or Howland? Harrick all 8 seasons at UCLA. Howland 6 out of 9. Which coach never finished below 4th in the Pac-10 (12 now) Harrick or Howland? Harrick never finished lower than 4th (once). Howland has finished fifth or worse 1/3 of the time at UCLA. Lastly, which coach has actually coached UCLA to a national championship? After all this UCLA, where only national championship banners count. And since when is it about almost winning it.

    And then you compare Lavin, who most UCLA fans think is an imbecile of a coach, to Howland? I agree that Lavin was not the best coach, but he made it to the NCAA tourney in every year at UCLA except for his last year. 6 of the 7. And at least to the sweet 16 five of the six. Strip out Lavin’s last year and he has a higher winning % than Howland while at UCLA. So much is said about Lavin having all the talent in the world, but I guarantee you this he never had the elite talent of two superstars in Westbrook and Love. Nor did he have the versatility of a Luc. Howland may never have players as good as Love/Westbrook in his lifetime at UCLA. And like some have commented, why didn’t he win one championship with that kind of talent.

    Howland is a good (not great) coach, but with a lot more deficiencies than most UCLA fans think. He gets way too much credit for “developing” talent and making players better. You can’t win it without the horses and it’s no different with Howland. Westbrook and Love are superstars even if Lavin is coaching these guys. How many times do we question offensive execution? Calling timeouts? Substitution patterns? Heck, even Howland acknowledges after games when he gets called out by reporters. Time for UCLA fans to realize that “Kevin Love is not walking through that door. Russell Westbrook is not walking through that door.”

  • MichaelRyerson

    So you’d rather have Harrick (who shot himself in the foot)? Or you want to go back to Lavin (who, by the way, I think got a raw deal)? Westbrook seems to think Howland developed his talent. And Love acknowledges butting heads with Howland over how he was being ‘used’ while he was at UCLA but has now come to recognise he’s a much better basketball player thanks to Howland’s coaching. According to you they’re wrong. ‘Howland has coached at a high level before and he deserves a chance to do it again right here. Should he be on the hot seat? Sure.’

  • Anonymous

    I think you missed the point. Most ucla fans do not think highly of Harrick and Lavin as coaches, yet Harrick actually won something with less talent and had a much better record. Lavin had a better record and overall success (3 years does not make a career) in making the tourney, up to his last year at ucla. But all of a sudden Howland is the greatest ucla coach, ex Wooden? Please. Maybe if he actually wins something we can even begin to have a discussion.

    What is Westbrook going to say. It was all me? He is a good guy, so is Love. They’ll ive credit where it is due, but c’mon do you really think that? You can’t be that naive. Westbrook i’m sure is also grateful to howland since he was under the radar, but clearly not lacking in talent/athleticism. Ucla fans seem to get highly recruited from hs confused with talent. Westbrook was not lacking in talent. He was scoring nearly 30 pts a game in high school, except it was in a school not known for developing ncaa talent. Don’t get that mixed up.

  • MichaelRyerson

    I missed the point? Really? So you wouldn’t want Harrick nor Lavin back? Is that what you’re saying? Or is it just ‘most UCLA fans’ wouldn’t want them back and you would(and what do they know about it anyway?)? Is that your position? And exactly who said Howland is the greatest coach since Wooden? Is this a strawman I see? I went back through the thread and can’t find anyone saying (nor implying) Howland is the greatest coach since Wooden. Point me to the quote, please. As for Westbrook foolishly being grateful to Howland (and his mediocre coaching) for saving him from flying under the radar despite his athletic gifts, let me say the landscape is littered with wonderful athletes who dominate at some off-the-radar school ‘not known for basketball’ and when they get on the big stage, wither like last week’s daffodils. Was Howland smarter than all the other Div 1 coaches who missed Westbrook at this ‘not-known-for-basketball’ school? Or just luckier? And Love has been pretty specific in explaining the differences he and Howland had about his role at UCLA and then saying Howland had been right and he wrong and that he (Love) was a significantly better basketball player now because Howland stuck to his guns. Not exactly bland, generic to-be-expected support for an ex-coach.

  • Anonymous

    Reading comprehension is clearly not your forte. Where in my posts did i ever say i want harrick or lavin back? My poInt if you read carefully is that howland is not as great as most ucla fans think. At the very least harrick won something and was extremely consistent. Something we can’t sayabout howlan. The howland supporters will throw every excuse in the book as to why his teams are incredibly inconsistent, but the finger never points back to howland. Uh, read most of the posts in here and bruingold to get a clue as to how highly howland supporters think of him. The messiah. It always goes back to 3 straight final 4s. Yet these blind supporters never question as to why he never won something with the talent he had. Mediocre coach? Again, reading comp. I said good, not mediocre, but not great either. The proof is in the pudding. His overall record (again not just 3 years) speaks for itself.

    Actually Westbrook kind of did fall into Howland’s lap. He was offered late as a spot opened up. You can give credit to Howland for that, but i doubt he thought that Westbrook was going to be this good if you want to be realistic. So yes, a bit lucky. Look, most players are not going to sit there and criticize their college coach, unless they were wronged. I’m sure Love is going to support his coach.

    My point again is that howland is not as great as you or others think. And the greatest evidence is in hus record while at ucla. You can throw all the excuses in the world, but a lot of the fault lies in ben being ben. I was shocked at the numbers when i saw them. I guarantee you that harrick or lavin would never have survived as coach had they posted similar records as howland’s in the last three years. You can continue your lovefest with howland.

  • Emily Post

    @Anonymous at 11:34 AM

    As the Mistress of American Manners, my name has become synonymous with proper etiquette and manners. Even now, a half century after my alleged death, my name is still used to verbally thump those who are rude, crude, and hard to handle.

    You, sir, should come out from hiding and at least have the creativity to make up a name so as not to be confused with the other “Anonymous” posters.

    In the future, “man-up” (as the young generation is apt to say) and offer a name to identify which “Anonymous” is the angry anti-Howlandite (other than the usual USC trolls — you’re not one of them are you?)

    I think the late Johnny Grant (Honorary Hollywood Mayor) said it best when attempting to calm a crowd on the “Walk of Fame”…”Ahhhhh! Blow it out!”

  • Anonymous

    First, this is a blog. I could not care less what your name is or really is. Man up? Second, Is this site only for those that are pro-howland? Do ucla fans not have a right to question the coach? Are we that closed minded? I guess that makes me a usc troll? Man up Emily. And i’m quite sure that posters here can stand up to their own arguments. They don’t need an emily post to cry for them. So, have a view and defend it.

  • Amillennialist

    All 11:34/12:45 has is straw man arguments, ad hominem attacks, and an assault on Emily Post!

    Man-up, indeed. (Must be Tydides.)

    MichaelRyerson wins in a knockout!

  • Anonymous

    Really A? You think so? Or is it just that he supports your view. Also, just saw his previous post. He goes off on Duke and players leaving early. He picks a specific time period when quite a few left early to the pros. But what is interesting is that since his programs started winning in the early 80s his teams haveonly missed the tournament once. And in that year he was out recovering from back surgery and exhaustion. I have no problems with players leaving early, you just need to be able to reload. I think it’s silly to compare duke with ucla though, not even close. And to even compare coach k to howland? Please one has won 3 championships, the other zero.

  • Anonymous

    1) In my reading of the commentary on this blog, I do not read where anyone with a reasoned argument is castigated for it.

    2) There seem to be some folks who come onto the site and spew all sorts of nonsense and others call them on it. That does not mean that only one side of an issue is required (or expected). It simply means they are being challenged for unsubstantiated nonsense comments.

    3) Furthermore, it seems to me that the late Emily Post was not haranging Anonymous 11:34 for his views, but only trying to categorize all the dang Anonymouses who (don’t)sign-in. Just easier to track who’s who at the zoo.

    4) BTW – Anonymous 11:34, how can you guarantee a reality that happened? Mssrs Harrick and Lavin were let go with records argueably better than Howland, but both of them had problems that went beyond their records. Harrick lied to Pete Dalis for an unseemly sale of a car to Baron Davis’ sister, albeit with no action from the NCAA, and also the lying about bogus meal expenses ~ lack of character. As my grandmother would say…better a thief than a liar, at least you can lock your drawers.

    Lavin was fired becuase he thought himself larger than the program…that, a losing season, losing to too many momo teams, and never getting beyond the Sweet 16.

    5) From my reading, the writers unwilling to see Howland canned are interested in seeing him right the ship, as he seems on the cusp of bringing in three major recruits that could turn around the program. Could a new coach do so? Highly unlikely since HS Srs have mostly committed. And if Howie was shipped out, what “great” coach is in the wings to take over the team, and what is that man’s reach for incoming talent?

    4) Lastly, I would ask why anyone interested in UCLA sports couldn’t go the distance to hit the Shift key and capitalize the school’s name. It sure seems that a little effort is in order to at least full cap the name of one’s alma mater, but that’s just me and my old timely ways.

  • Amillennialist

    “Really A? You think so? Or is it just that he supports your view.”

    Thanks for proving my point.

    Do you even know what the point is anymore?

    Why are you arguing so vigorously and anonymously?

  • Wrong Way Peachfuzz (Anonymous 1:46)

    What can I say chaps, my computer friganzlited and my browser gaknocked before taking in my comment!

  • The Blur

    Dang I just realized my last post was accidentally anonymous Mar 14, 12:12.

    You can’t give Howland all the credit for Love, Westbrook, Luc, et al, then give him a total pass on Smith, Holiday, Gordon, et al. It goes both ways. It seems as many players developed under Howland as didn’t. it’s not 100% on him either way. What I have serious concerns about is that the players who haven’t developed are A) the most recent, and B) more highly rated. The plan should always be to go after the highest rated players. UCLA has almost always achieved this.

    Now, because of what I mentioned above, I think Howland’s 3 Final Fours were one of the best coaching performances ever. With the exceptions of Farmar and Love, those were not top tier recruits he was working with. (I think Afflalo and Shipp maybe were pretty highly rated, though.) Luc and Aboya were second, maybe third, tier. Westbrook was an afterthought. Collison was not highly recruited. Those Florida teams were far better than we. The Memphis team was slightly better, but better. IMO, reaching those Final Fours far outweighed the disappointment of not winning a championship.

    All this is why I’m good with keeping Howland, but think he needs to change. The BN way of placing all of UCLA’s struggles on Howland is ridiculous. But so is completely looking the other way. Contrary to what some posters think, fans aren’t complaining because we’re not winning championships. We’re complaining because we’re watching the tournament without UCLA in it. Again. This is, after all, a UCLA sports blog.

  • Amillennialist

    It’s only the BNers who are claiming that anti-BN equals pro-Howland-at-all-costs.

    I don’t believe any of us are saying that Howland is Wooden reincarnated or that the past few seasons have been glorious. (Those are BN straw men.)

    Not wanting to flay the coach without an anesthetic is not the same thing as nominating him for a lifetime contract.

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Anon: Get a handle. It’s not that hard. Any man can do it. And don’t ask Mistress Emily to Man-up … have you seen her? She’s HOT! What are you, queer?

    You got a fair take in spots. But Ryerson goes the distance and thumps you. And that’s minus Benny jumping in from the bushes like a spider monkey.

    Amil, he just waits for the End Times and comes down all plague-like with truth and fury. Don’t go there, unless you like eating bowls of locust and shit.

    Come back again though. After all, it’s lonely in March watching every other fucking team in the free world play but us.

    P.S. For what it’s worth out there in Jon Gold-land, I wasn’t that impressed with the overall games of Moser and Stanback last nite. Both are long, lean and have no guilt launching from 25 feet despite what time is left on the shot clock. Both are better suited for UNLV’s run-n-gun style, with pressing as its backdrop. Just think about the last time you’ve seen a Howland team press or just wildly launch threes like in some game of speed h-o-r-s-e or something.

    I didn’t get to see Gordon or the BYU kid (Carlino?) play. Did anyone else?

  • Not a usc troll

    Peachfuzz,

    On harrick, i don’t disagree tht he had to go for other reasons than coaching. Agreed. Lavin had to go too, but he actually did go to elite 8 his first year. Agree that he had embarrassing losses, but same applies to howland. Horrible losses to very bad teams. My point is that howland keeps getting free passes because of 3 straight final 4s. Harrick would have been fired for basketball reasons if he missed 2 torneys in 3 years. Just wondering when that expires, if at all. In all honesty not sure who we can get now, but just thinking longer-term howland is not the answer. As for caps, blame the ipad. I hate that keypad.

  • Not a usc troll

    The blur,

    I’m not equating highly rated to talent. There is a strong correlation but many anomalies. Westbrook was not highly rated but you can’t argue that he wasn’t top shelf talent at ucla. You saw glimpses of it freshman year and tons of it soph year when he got more minutes. I agree that Fla had more talent, but the talent distortion is blown out of proportion by howland supporters. We had Farmar, afflalo, luc, hollins, shipp, even collison as a frosh against fla second year. Plenty of coaches have won big games with less talent disparities. it is the way ucla got destroyed by florida 2 years in a row that bothers me. Howland was outcoached by donovan. I diasagree on memphis too, slight edge to ucla with love/westbrook/luc/collison/shipp vs rose/cdr/others. Again howland outcoached.

  • The Blur

    Not a Troll, I agree Howland got thoroughly outcoached the first time vs Florida. It was a great job to get there. We had no business beating Memphis, who trounced us early that season. But Donovan turned Howland’s double-teaming interior defense into layup lines for Horford and Noah.

    I thought we were better prepared for that the next year vs Florida, but they were still too much. Going into that game, I thought we had to make Corey Brewer beat us, and he did exactly that. We did okay against Horford and Noah, and kept Humphrey from draining 3′s, but they were just too much to handle.

    Against Memphis, it was obvious Howland should’ve left Westbrook on Rose. But given what we know about Rose, would it have mattered? They were just bigger and more athletic all around. But that was our best chance out of the 3.

    You’re also right not to equate recruiting stars with talent. But that’s sort of what I’m concerned about. My thought is second-tier recruits like Luc, Westbrook, and Hollins know they have to be disciplined and work hard on the fundamentals, therefore they flourish in Howland’s grind. Same for the type of players he had at Pitt. But premier recruits maybe need to be set free a little more like they are at Duke, UNC, and Kentucky. Restraining more refined players maybe disengages them some. That happened to Holiday and I think Honeycutt. Is that happening to Smith? I know, theoretically these guys should be dedicated no matter how talented they are and whatever system they’re in – if for nothing else to earn the UCLA scholarship they’re getting. But the reality is these are 18-year olds.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I think the results support my thoughts. So should Howland recruit lesser, more dedicated players who are willing to work a harder? Makes sense, but I’m not sold on the concept of recruiting 3-star players when we can get 5-star players.

    “Just wondering when [the free pass from the Final Fours] expires.” In my opinion, they just did. Next year, we better perform.

  • http://www.onviolence.com Michael C

    Someone made the point about it cutting both ways with Howland and attracting/developing great talent then his failure to do so with the 2008/09 classes.

    I think that argument could apply all over Bruin athletics. Right now our baseball team is in the midst of a double digit win streak. If you look at the Capital One Cup, that measures all sports, UCLA is tied for fourth in one and ranked 1 in another. So Dan Guerrero (proper spelling, those BN guys just cannot get it right) has led the entire athletic department to excellence, except for two programs, and this makes him the third worst person in history behind Hitler and Bin Laden? I don’t get it, he also had a basketball team go to the final four three times in a row and hasn’t had a single NCAA or academic problem under his reign (something that would seem to bolster the case that he is a man of character).

    Finally, on the Howland issue I think most “Howland supporters” have a reasonable take–he’s been great, and he can be great again. We shouldn’t fire a coach the year before we open renovated Pauley, and there aren’t a lot of great coaching candidates out there. That said, if he misses the tournament next year (a reasonable goal) his seat will be very, very hot.

    Just my thoughts, I’m not a troll, I promise. (BN banned me after I called Odysseus out for not being a soldier and using veterans to make a point against Howland. I was also called morally bankrupt, despite being a veteran. It made me happy.)

  • The Blur

    Michael C,

    I haven’t checked the BN rankings lately but I think Guerrero may have passed Bin Laden.

    Did you get banned a few months ago? I remember a vet expressing that sentiment, and Tydides or one of those punks made some comment about how he didn’t care if the person was a vet, and didn’t deserve respect for it, etc, etc . Then he proceeded to call him ignorant, stupid, etc, etc. It was one of the most disgraceful things I’ve ever read. I was embarrassed for myself and all bruin alums to see one of our own acting that way. He seriously deserves to have his face rearranged.

  • Professor Sardonicus

    @ Michael C.

    First, thanks for being part of the “other 1%” ~the ones who actually offer service to the other 99% of us!

    Now, it is obvious that none of the BN Greeks were attentive in their general history classes and learned the moral imperative offered by François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire), who offered: “I disagree strongly with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Likewise, the fraters must have cut those classes on critical evaluation into comparative evil. Imponderable evil is not just about attributable deaths, the personality defect may also be accounted for by geo-political impact on subsequent generations, poor choices in basketball coaching, or just plain crankiness.

    1) Genghis Khan

    2) Mao Zedong

    3) Josef Stalin

    4) Attila

    5) Adolf Hitler

    6) Hanoverian English Kings: William III, George I, George II, George III, William IV, Victoria

    7) Leopold II of Belgium

    8) Murshed Zaheed

    9) Hideki Tojo

    10) Ben Howland

  • Anonymous

    Coach K might be available. I think Duke is going to fire him for losing to a 15th seed. Oh right, this is UCLA and we only take the cream of the cream of the crop and not another college’s reject. No worries though, once Howland is fired every great coach will trip over themselves to apply for the opening. Oh wait, this is not BN!! What am I doing here. BN is the only site for true Bruins fans. All the other site should and must be shut down.

  • http://www.onviolence.com Michael C

    At the Blur: I wasn’t the first person who made that comment, but I backed up the soldier who did. So Tydides made an insult on both of us. Then, on a later post, I told Odysseus to not compare US soldiers to Ben Howland or the players. My point was nuanced, but basically, Sports Illustrated could write article ten times as long about the shenanigans that go on at West Point, so its a strange analogy.