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Ben Howland says Joshua Smith needs some (Kevin) Love

March 06, 2012|By Chris Foster
  • UCLA's Joshua Smith, center, tries to break free from Richmond's Derrick Williams, left, and Cedrick Lindsay during a game in December.
UCLA's Joshua Smith, center, tries to break free from Richmond's… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

UCLA Coach Ben Howland is hoping to see center Joshua Smith take a tip -- or two -- from former Bruin Kevin Love.

Love reshaped his body before his one season at UCLA. He is in even better condition since being drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves after the 2007-08 season.

Smith, who is 6 feet 10 and weighs more than 300 pounds, has admitted that he needs to be in better shape.

“Kevin spoke with Josh this [past] summer and they spent some time together,” Howland said. “Kevin is the greatest example of a player driven to be great. It’s so important to him that he is willing to sacrifice. He had the kind of discipline it takes to change his body.”

Smith averages 10.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. But he averages a little less than 18 minutes per game.

Howland said that, “Josh has the talent.” But he said, “Kevin came in here and worked very hard and got in the best shape he had been up to that point. Now he has taken it to a whole new level.”

Asked whether that type of dedication was apparent in Smith, Howland said, “I think Josh is maturing. He is on record as saying he is going to do this.”

RELATED:

UCLA and USC: Two basketball teams in need of an off-season

T.J. Simers: How can you compare Ben Howland to John Wooden?

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