Norman Powell talks about decision to stay at UCLA

Since April, shooting guard Norman Powell has indicated multiple times that he thought about transferring to San Diego State had UCLA not fired Ben Howland.

On Wednesday, Powell said he likely would have stayed no matter who replaced the former coach.

“I’m not going to say too much about how I felt about Howland,” Powell added. “He’s a great coach and I learned a lot. I’ve gotten better since I came here as a freshman. He did a great job helping me with my defense, making my shot better. But I definitely wanted to see a change.”

He had heard about Steve Alford from Glen Worley, a coach at San Diego’s Lincoln High who once played for Alford at Iowa. However, Powell said his conversation with Worley had no bearing on his decision to stay or transfer.

The rising junior said the main difference between Alford and Howland was that the former felt “more in tune” with the players. He also quelled any lingering fears fans may have about big man Tony Parker not returning to UCLA: “He’s staying. He’s staying. Tony’s staying.”

  • Mark

    And to those of you saying Alford hasn’t recruited anyone yet…getting these 2 fellows to stay is huge. I think they can be very solid players with the right guidance

    • maze949

      According to you, the decision has already “payed off” [sic]. I’m trying to figure out if you know more about basketball or the English language. Bruin alum? I think not…

      • Mark

        Hmm you have no response to the substance of my comment, because it’s undeniably true, so you nit pick.

      • FreeShabazz

        He is Trojan Mark.

    • barry1817

      Mark and he probably was responsible for Anderson staying as well.

      There was a lot of chatter about him not being happy with Ben.

    • Marc

      In all fairness, Powell said he was going to stay no matter who came along really, just as long as Howland was gone.

      Alford didn’t so much as keep them as Howland leaving had more impact than anything.

  • Sam C

    Amen Mark lets hope for good things for the program

  • RoycePowell

    It’s a sad day when people consider the new UCLA head basketball coach convincing players not to transfer as an accomplishment….It’s really gotten that bad! Anyway, Alford hasn’t done anything yet except set up his direct deposit account at CHASE….we will all have to give him a chance because we have no other choice per our genius AD…support the student/athletes…that’s where the real fun resides.

    • carlosatUCLA

      This is a very fair assessment. People want to give Alford the B.O.D. but he hasn’t exactly warranted it yet. It’s OK to be critical, but some UCLA fans are super afraid of hearing criticism of any aspect of this team.

      • RoycePowell

        Agreed….we don’t want the new coach to fail obviously but you have to at least look at the facts of his situation and the current state of UCLA basketball. He has only recruited his son Bryce to come to UCLA so far. Everything else, TBD.

    • Mark

      Well you have to remember the starting point: a virtual revolving door of players. If Howland was retained, Powell and Parker and would transferred. That would have been devastating. Howland’s lack of basketball knowledge notwithstanding, the continual player exodus is what has really crippled the team since 2008. We have some freshmen coming in, and some solid returning players. I think Ucla is well positioned to win the Pac 10 again next season.

      • RoycePowell

        Hey Mark…It’s called the Pac 12, or usually depending on the NCAA sanctions every year at southern cal, the Pac 11

        • Mark

          I’m old school!

          • RoycePowell

            No problem!

          • maze949

            Nope, you’re just a whining popinjay, who didn’t even go to UCLA.


    I sincerely hope there’s more to it than what he says here because this is gibberish.

  • BruinInSeattle

    If the only qualification for a new head coach was one who could get along with players and not alienate them then just about anyone in the country could have gotten the job…which is sadly what it feels like.

  • Joe Blow

    This kid will be another bruin problem.