Jim Mora (and UCLA fans) might as well get used to this. As long as the Bruins keep winning, their head coach’s name will come up every time a major job is open.
The latest suitor is Texas, which pushed Mack Brown into retirement. ESPN reports that the school is looking at Mora as a potential replacement, though sources dispute whether or not there has been contact.
Orangebloods.com reports that Mora — who just guided UCLA to its first 10-win season since 2005 — will interview with the Longhorns after Louisville’s Charlie Strong and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin. Continue reading →
Despite having agreed to an extension through 2019, Jim Mora has come up again in the college football coaching carousel.
With Mack Brown retiring after Texas plays in the Holiday Bowl, one of the premier jobs in the sport is now open. Bovada gives UCLA’s second-year coach 10-to-1 odds on filling the void in Austin.
Mora did his best to dispel the rumors on Tuesday.
“It’s flattering, and I think it says a lot about our program and the direction we’re heading,” he said. “But I am very, very, very, extremely, delightfully happy to be the head coach at UCLA and want to be for a long, long time.”
After Tuesday’s practice — the first consisting of actual prep for Virginia Tech — Mora also talked about what he’s seen from the Hokies, as well as his young defensive linemen.
UCLA’s 65-63 win was about as ugly a showing of basketball as you’ll see all year, a sloppy affair that looked like two teams trying their best not to win. Longhorns coach Rick Barnes said as much afterward, stating that to him, UCLA hadn’t won; Texas had given the game away.
The Bruins ended the game on a 12-2 run, but that didn’t erase what was essentially a microcosm of the team’s defensive woes.
Poor 3-point defense: The eye test has been pretty clear: UCLA runs into significant trouble against good 3-point shooting teams, with San Diego State being the best example. But how do the stats break down? A few days ago, Ken Pomeroy wrote that 3-point defense shouldn’t be measured by opposing shooting percentage, but by the amount of threes opponents take at all. Teams have much more control in preventing threes entirely versus controlling how often they go in after they’re released.
Under Ben Howland, here’s where UCLA has ranked in 3PA% (percentage of field goal attempts taken from 3-point range):
2012-13 – 36.9% – No. 275 in the country, entering Saturday
2011-12 – 31.0% – 103
2010-11 – 25.8% – 10 (NCAA second round)
2009-10 – 33.3% – 203 Continue reading →