POLL: USC fires O’Neill; should UCLA have fired Howland?

USC fired Kevin O’Neill this morning after a 7-10 start to the season. CBS Sports’ Jeff Goodman said one reason why he was fired so early is because AD Pat Haden didn’t want him long term and wanted to preempt any winning streak.

This is basically the same cause Dan Guerrero would have had to fire Ben Howland after the Cal Poly loss and the Tyler Lamb and Josh Smith transfers. Now, the nine-game winning streak has put a midseason dismissal out of the question. Howland could very well be gone in three months, so do you wish Guerrero had pulled the trigger sooner at risk of jeopardizing this season?

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  • miker%buffspec.com

    This is a non-issue. Howland’s job isn’t in jeopardy. Nor is Guerrero’s. This place becomes more like Bruin Nation every time I stop by.

    • senatorgassi

      I second that sentiment. No place to go where there’s not an “expert pundit” shoveling spin. Is that because it’s easier than real reporting. Hard to believe so little real info is available here.

    • I think you are off base, and it will be interesting to see how far this team goes in the playoffs.

      Also, the problems that are still pressing are why so many players leave, reported 11 in the last 4 years have left, and these weren’t to the pros, but to other programs, save Nelson.

      Another problem is that attendance and scheduling is not beneficial/conducize to people wanting to go to preseason games, as there is a dearth of top teams coming into Pauley.

      Then the rumors abound about how top donors aren’t happy with treatment received.

      It is more than just winning, and last I looked, since UCLA only hangs banners for Championships, there are none that have gone up in the 10 years that Coach has been here.

      • miker%buffspec.com

        Yeah, and last time I looked ‘The Coach’ took fifteen years to win his first, so your point is what? Shabazz says he ‘came here to learn to play defense and this was the place that could happen.’ So the NCAA screws him out of three games and critical early season conditioning and I think there’s a real chance he’s still around next year. And remember when you’re criticizing Howland, this is a program that just played an entire season ‘on the road’. Further, in the era of the one-and-dones the premium for starting early and hoarding minutes is at an all time high. Players are getting pushed aside in programs from one end of the country to the other. Don’t believe me? Go back in this blog and count the times an incoming opponent numbered their top scorer or their significant big man as a transfer. Over and over again. Nearly every single team. Another good exercise, go research the careers of our recently (say the last five years) departed varsity players and take note of how they’ve done in less competitive conferences, with the opportunity for major minutes, big fish in a small pond. It’s eye opening (in a tragic kind of a way) to see that the players who have chosen to leave have rarely found success elsewhere and probably really made the right choice, they weren’t cut out for this level of competition. Someone up-thread was wondering what big men were still available and someone (I think Jacko) posited only a little ole three star was still left. Give me a break. Anyone remember Lorenzo Mata Real and the mileage Coach Howland got out of him? Every program has a place for role players. Steve Patterson? Ralph Drollinger? Heck for that matter how about Fred Slaughter? And lastly let me leave you with this, it’s a fluid situation, a few weeks ago Jack was being openly dismissive of the Wears. He might have a hard time getting a laugh at their expense now.
        (I should probably edit and rewrite this draft but it’s late so I’m just going to toss it out there)

      • EncinitasBruin

        Please tell us your alternate handle isn’t Tydides or Nestor. Seriously though, I hear what you are saying about “nothing short of a banner being acceptable,” and I agree that that is and always should be the goal of any Bruin basketball team. But Howland has shown real grit this year, fighting through a terrible November to coach this team to an unlikely first place standing in the Pac-12, and the longest win streak in the conference. It doesn’t erase problems that have marked the last three years (foremost, the defection of far too many players), but it is a step in the right direction. I say let’s see where the Bruins end up in late March before handing down a final verdict.

  • EncinitasBruin

    It’s funny, because the sign of a fighter is someone who works through adversity and is able to bounce back. Right now, Howland fits that bill. Hey, he took a squad that was the laughing stock of the Pac-12 in November, losing to Cal Poly and suffering the defections of Smith and Lamb (all in the same week), and has since turned this formerly disunified collection of freshmen and former Tarheals into a real unit. Fired?! Heck, if he keeps this up, he’ll end up being voted Pac-12 Coach of the Year.