Would be a tough sell after this season too, but I'd bet Dixon would try his best and get it. That way he'd avoid the potential for disaster in the move to the ACC, in addition to going back home to a flagship program. But UCLA could get nearly anyone they wanted, and I'm not sure how high Dixon would be on that list.
Jeez. who would be on that short list of coaches that could be tabbed for that job if this article had any real damaging merit.
I have never known Howland to be a bad guy. I actually felt like his hard nosed approach would be good at UCLA to shake off some of the Hollywood softness that was with the previous regime. And when players like Russell Westbrook started to arrive I felt that he was doing a fine job of puttting his stamp on the program. 3 final fours in a row is a great accomplishment. But UCLA people are so spoiled by prior success that they don't even brag about that.
I'm not sure it's really all that bad. Given the lead-up to the story, I was expecting to see a story that exposes a dirty program, or something like that. What I read was a story about bad behavior by the kids in the program, the failure of the coach to do anything about it, and how that affected play on the court.
Do I think this could be the end of Howland at UCLA? Maybe. The fact that the team has underperformed is not news. This article only provides the context and a potential theory about why it has. Clearly, since the Final Four years (just a few years ago), a good argument could be made that Howland has failed to do what he was hired to do, but it's also hard to overlook the fact that he has some goodwill to burn by going to 3 straight Final Fours (which may be worth less at UCLA than at most schools).
Do I think that this could have a lasting impact on the program if they choose to terminate Howland? Not really. This isn't a scandal of SMU, Ohio State, USC or Penn State proportions. To me, it's just a story about a coach who let his players go too far.
If they fire Howland, I have no doubt that they could go get their choice of coaches. It's still a great job.
“The one in April … I’ve never coached a game in April … that’ll be nice.” - Coach Thompson, when asked what game he is looking most forward to
I suspect their fans are screaming because they are not coming anywhere near their expectations for success on the court. UCLA should win, period.
Now if they were winning, and (1) their coaches were alleged to be doing bad things, including looking past the behavior or attacking those who claimed it was occurring; (2) their players were committing bad acts that got them in the news; and (3) their players were not meeting expectations in the classroom, well, then they would be . . . . . . . .
Post by gtowndynasty on Feb 29, 2012 12:40:47 GMT -5
Living in LA I can tell you the fan base became pretty anti-Howland in about 2009 when UCLA missed out on ALL of their prized recruits instate-Jordan Hamilton, Hollis, Wear twins (altho they came back), Renardo Sidney. He began to develop a reputation of a coach that players dont want to play for and one who does not get the best out of his guys. Since then, the LA area, which is such a fertile ground for talent, has seen many of their players go elsewhere to play.
Howland also doesnt develop the talent he has had. See Westbrook, Jrue Holiday, Malcom Lee, Drew Gordon, Chase Stanback, who all went there and became better players elsewhere-either in the L or after transferring. Plus, the top local guys are now not going. He stays if he can secure a good class but Kyle A alone is not enough and he will not turn UCLA around. He needs Shabazz to sign up and Tony P wouldnt hurt. Then the outlook would look much better.
Post by Ranch Dressing on Feb 29, 2012 12:46:03 GMT -5
To me, the relevance of the story is that top recruits should be very careful when selecting schools. If a recruit's primary selection criteria is that he has a great time on his visit and that other top players are attending, he may be overlooking underlying weaknesses to a program.
A coach's discipline and control over a program and his ability to promote and foster an environment of compliance with NCAA and team trainging rules should be a pretty relevant factor in making a decision. That is where parental input becomes critical. If those factors are ignored, the recruit could find himself committed to a school that all of a sudden is facing coaching/player turnover, sanctions, etc.
Historically, we tend to do well recruiting players and parents of players who value tight controls and family/tough love atmosphere.