March 27, 2013 |
UCLA has said it is looking for a basketball coach to enhance its winning culture. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says he's the man. Abdul-Jabbar, certainly in the conversation about the greatest basketball players of all time, said Wednesday that he wants to be considered for the Bruins job, replacing recently fired Ben Howland. The winning part of his resume is beyond question. As a 7-foot-2 center for the John Wooden Bruins in 1967-69, Abdul-Jabbar was the star on a team that was 88-2 and won three NCAA titles.
March 17, 2013 |
When the conversation turns to college players leaving for the NBA after just one season, Ben Howland grimaces. The UCLA coach has lost two players this way - including Kevin Love - and expects his current star freshman, Shabazz Muhammad, will jump to the pros this summer. "We're playing by NBA rules here," he said. "These are not rules governed by the NCAA or the universities. " The NBA requires that potential draftees be at least 19 and one year removed from high school. This theoretically prompts more high school stars to make a brief stopover in college, going "one-and-done.
November 8, 2011 |
One of the most dominant big men in college basketball will probably start games taking up room on the bench instead of underneath the basket. UCLA Coach Ben Howland said Tuesday that he would probably bring center Joshua Smith into games after a few minutes to avoid picking up fouls at a time when referees like to set the tone, similar to how the coach utilized Smith for much of last season. The arrangement proved effective Sunday, when the 6-foot-10, 315-pound sophomore entered an exhibition game against Cal State San Bernardino with 3 minutes 17 seconds having elapsed in the first half and proceeded to score 26 points in 27 minutes.
November 8, 2012 |
The name Ben Howland is not synonymous with the term "up-tempo offense. " On the basketball spectrum, the two are a country mile apart. With Howland as coach, pushing the ball upcourt has not been the UCLA way. Yet, the Bruins coach says he is flipping his script to run that offense this season, which for the No. 13 Bruins starts Friday night against Indiana State at newly renovated Pauley Pavilion. The "Guru of Go" himself, Paul Westhead, understands skepticism about the move and whether it will work.
December 4, 2012 |
Saturday night, the glass got thinner in the fishbowl where Ben Howland lives. What he does for a living is about as private as a tweet by Donald Trump. He coaches UCLA's basketball team. One of his predecessors was John Wooden and his 10 NCAA titles. That's all you need to know. Howland's life is as quiet and predictable as the 405 Freeway on a Friday afternoon. Expectations for him were set in stone in March 1975, when Wooden won the last of those titles. Howland was two months away from turning 18. You don't fill Wooden's shoes.
February 5, 2011 |
I just wanted to say hello to Steve Lavin . I didn't know I'd have to attend a high school basketball game with amateur referees and kill off a perfectly nice Saturday morning to do so. UCLA and St. John's are so awful, I don't think anyone in Los Angeles would have to worry about the Lakers losing to them. And you know how well the Lakers do against crummy teams. Throw in Pac-10 officials, who made no secret of their desire to make sure UCLA won on its home court, and that explains why the Bruins had 41 free throws while Lavin's team had seven.
November 18, 2011
With the recent ups and downs of the UCLA football team, the casual fan might think that nothing is more volatile than Bruins football. However, over the last decade-plus, there has emerged an entirely predictable pattern to the program, best described by the words of their own fans. The only variable is the time between each phase: Phase 1: "We've finally found the guy. This is the coach whose hiring finally shows the school's commitment to being a football power. " Phase 2: "We have a great coach!"
October 21, 2009 |
The season opener is almost a month away, but Ben Howland has reason to be concerned. This week, the UCLA basketball coach has watched no fewer than six of his scholarship players struggle with injuries. Add center J'mison Morgan to the list of the walking wounded, the sophomore waiting for MRI exam results this morning after his left knee swelled. Even more troubling is point guard Jerime Anderson, expected to miss another week with a groin injury that has persisted off and on since high school.
February 25, 2009 |
It isn't unusual for UCLA Coach Ben Howland to quote statistics from memory, right down to the decimal point, but this time the reference was pointed. Asked about UCLA's being eighth in the Pacific 10 Conference in defensive field-goal percentage, Howland cited chapter and verse. "It's 47.7% in league," he said. "Number 262 nationally on the year, at 45%." And then, as if even hearing the number rounded off rankled him, he made it more precise: "Point one," he said. That's 45.1%, and No.
July 24, 2009 |
Ben Howland is trying again. The UCLA coach is recruiting another top high school basketball player from the state of Washington. The third time might be the charm. Howland's focus is on 6-foot-9, 270-pound Josh Smith from Kentwood High in Kent, Wash. He knows it's a supreme challenge persuading an elite athlete to leave his community. Howland went after Jon Brockman from Snohomish, Wash. Brockman ended up being an all-Pacific 10 Conference forward at Washington.