Elder commits to Miami

For anyone still holding out hope that Cornelius Elder would commit to UCLA, he’s on his way to Miami after the school offered him a football scholarship this morning. He accepted on the spot and will also play basketball for the Hurricanes. Tennessee’s two-time Mr. Football (Division II-AA) led the Ensworth School to three straight titles, but might rely on his quickness too much to be an every-down back.

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  • http://twitter.com/FatBooster Joe Blow

    Poor kid is crazy. Ucla isthe bomb

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Barry-Levy/1091577549 Barry Levy

      evidently not for basketball players with 11 leaving the program in the last four years, to transfer to other schools, and they are impact players at the schools that they went to.
      this while UCLA can’t nab a single top 50 ESPN player for next year.

  • miker%buffspec.com

    Obviously Howland’s got to go.
    MichaelRyerson

  • Marc

    Do you guys realize that Cornelius Elder is a running back who plays football? He was a real long-shot for UCLA anyways, and UCLA has a few options at running back already on the roster with four-star running back Craig Lee still working to get his acedemics in order to enroll with UCLA.

    Criticism of Ben Howland not withstanding, this really isn’t about him or BBall at all. This is more about the rise in exposure that Jim Mora Jr. has brought to UCLA football. That even the fact they were in the running for this elite running back out of Florida speaks to UCLA’s brand under a quality coach.

    As for UCLA basketball; one thing that is rarely discussed is that Ben Howland’s teams were winning when he was recruiting quality, but not elite, players like Afflolo, Aboya, Collison et al. These players stayed and developed, but “only” reached the Final Four, failing to win the championship each time they got to that final weekend of college basketball.

    Then, the pressure increased on Howland to recruit blue chips. If only we had some blue chippers, UCLA would win it all. Well, unfortunately, we have seen quite a few drawbacks to bringing elite players into the fold. One obvious issue is that they do not stay to develope; rather they are typically one and dones that are at UCLA to showcase their talent. A second issue that rises up is Ben Howland’s apparent inability to properly motivate elite players alongside less stellar teammates.

    • Marc

      [word limit?]

      Favoritism has been reported and players unhappy with their treatment under Ben Howland has been aired publicly. This, I believe is both the coach’s and the players fault. Ben Howland has never before this time period had such elite players (not when he was at Pittsburgh and certainly not at NAU). It takes a certain quality, I believe, to reach these kids and also keep the team on a level field. I also believe that these elite players are primadonnas to a degree. They Expect to be treated differently than the non-elite players. That clearly will not sit well with a player who, while not as supremely talented, has been with the squad for a few years and perhaps pays more attention in practice. This leads to the third issue, which has really been on display this year: many of these elite players don’t play a lick of defense and seem to have either an inability or a lack of desire to learn defense from a coach who has been praised for his defensive coaching skills. That praise, by the way, is from his players playing in the NBA and NBA coaches who have praised the level that his players entered into his systems. Afflolo, Farmer, Collison to name just a few who received race reviews from their NBA coaches when they came out of UCLA.

      This is not an endorsement of Ben Howland or a public excuse of the way things have gone wrong for him, but rather a point of discussion to balance out the vitriol spilled his way.

      The next coach will have the same sort of problems; very few, in my opinion can safely navigate the potholes that come with blue chips. I find it very unlikely that UCLA will get or even go after some of the elite coaches who can deal with these elite players. I say lets swing for the fences and bring Phil Jackson in (j/k).

      • miker%buffspec.com

        Take a breath, I was being facetious. everybody knows who elder is, an undersized scatback who was never really on our radar anyways. Thought I’d have some fun and blame his not coming to UCLA on Howland seeing as how everything else is his fault. Howland ain’t going no place. write it down. you heard it here first. carry on.
        MichaelRyerson

    • http://twitter.com/FatBooster Joe Blow

      Ah, it’s “anyway”