Weekly Q&A — 2/2/13 Answers

Q: Where will you be on national signing day? Are you planning on putting up frequent updates throughout the day?

I will be on campus for the afternoon announcement of the class and will post updates throughout the day as commitments become official. There will also be a post-Signing Day live chat on Thursday with a guest. More details to come as that gets sorted out, but it will likely be after 1 p.m.

Q: Would you have opportunity to ask those who recruit for UCLA football about official visits? If they had their choice, would they prefer to be the player’s first official visit, last official visit or does it really matter? Eddie Vanderdoes was the first visit, but they have had a lot of late movement with others.

Hard to boil down the recruiting process to the timing of the official visits, although it does give a school a chance to close the deal — something that can also be done in-home or on unofficials. UCLA looks like it clinched QB Asiantii Woulard on his last official visit, but having Eddie Vanderdoes take his visit early hasn’t exactly knocked the Bruins off his list. Sometimes, if the visit is too late, a recruit may cancel if he’s already been impressed early by someone else.

Q: There’s been very little information out of UCLA regarding the basketball season and coach Howland’s job stability as of late. Before the team went on their win streak, his job appeared to be in jeopardy; then that went quietly away with the team winning. They’ve since lost 3 of 4, including the inexplicable loss to USC, who has an interim coach, a 8 win season going into the game and a far inferior team talent wise. What are things looking like at this point?

Not good. Barring a something like a Final Four, he’s almost certainly gone. That UCLA has fallen into bubble territory doesn’t help his chances for a job-saving finish. The Bruins are also shaping up to be a No. 8 or 9 seed, which would pair them up with a No. 1 seed in the second round.

Q: Tony Parker’s minutes actually went down from ASU to USC. You said this couldn’t happen, they were already rock bottom. What happens to Tony now? Seems like Howland has no incentive to use him.

I said his minutes couldn’t go down from what he was getting prior to Travis Wear’s concussion, and it seems that he’s now reverted back to that level of use. After losses, Ben Howland now often says he isn’t using his bench enough, but that hasn’t translated to increased minutes for anyone (although bench players have often been ineffective when put in as well). Hard to see Parker carving out a consistent role for himself unless someone gets injured.

Q: Prior to being hired at UCLA, Rick Neuheisel was 66-30 as a head coach and had a winning record in 7 out of 8 seasons. What went wrong at UCLA? Was he lucky at Colorado and Washington? Did Neuheisel lack full support from Morgan Center?

His highly rated recruiting classes didn’t pan out while he was here; some players just didn’t end up being very good, while others weren’t used effectively (see: Anthony Barr). Ineffective pistol offense and little offensive line depth. Lots of assistant coaching turnover. Neuheisel also had a history of overlooking a lot of disciplinary issues (see: Washington), which didn’t translate into a particularly well-coached team. UCLA did start investing more into the program after Neuheisel’s failed stint, with a significantly higher salary for the Jim Mora hire. Practice facility upgrades are also on the way.

Q: A big story has to be that Dan Guerrero’s contract expires in less than 2 months. I haven’t seen reporting on this in quite a while. What can you say about it?

Sorry, don’t have information on this front yet.

Q: Who won the Super Bowl?
Baltimore bars.

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  • Nice. Thanks Jack. Hopeful for a great signing day.

  • Marc

    Your probably right about the 8-9 seed; does not bode well for the team or Ben Howland’s job. I remember Shabazz saying that unless the team went to Final Four he would be back, but I don’t believe it. Next year, people will need to have patience; hopefully we are patiently cheering on a team led by a new head coach. And, for the record, I was a huge Ben Howland supporter until the wheels started coming off last year; though I had high hopes for this year. This year, so far, has been a series of big dissapointments.

  • disqus_zAIwe3kTSH

    If Dan Guerrero has only two months left on his contract, is it possible he will not be the person to make a decision about the fate of Ben Howland?