|DEJECTED: UCLA watches another season end in the Final Four without a title.|
No mo for fo and that’s all she wrote for coach Ben Howland and the UCLA Bruins basketball team which fell face first in their third consecutive Final Four appearance last Saturday against Memphis.
Here’s what’s going to happen next for Howland who immediately after the game begin pondering the future of his Bruins program which will undoubtedly be without Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook and probably Darren Collison.
Love is as good as gone to the NBA where will be a top 10 choice in the June draft unless some general manager is stupid to pass on him, Westbrook will be a top 20 pick regardless of whose in the draft pool and Collison is still a lock to be a first round selection despite his dismal two point stinker against Memphis.
The Bruins, in the meanwhile, will not be making another Final Four appearance for years to come, and unless Howland becomes more flexible in his offensive approach they will be lucky to get to the second round of the NCAA tournament next year.
As good a coach as Howland is, he’s not great because he really hasn’t won anything expect for a few Pac-10 titles. He lacks the creative dimension to adjust to the talent that he recruits and instead is so stubborn that he wants his team and players to play his way or it’s the highway.
How a talent the likes of freshman Chace Stanback cannot receive any meaningful minutes from Howland is beyond baffling and why Stanback’s father would allow for his son to remain under the circumstances is an even greater mystery.
Howland supporters say that Stanback has not adopted to Howland’s grinding style of defense and isn’t ready to play, but I say why then did you recruit him out of Fairfax to begin with if you did not think he was capable?
Bruins fans, pleas don’t tell me that you haven’t won a title since 1995 because the past three years, your squad ran into superior teams. Sports Illustrated, several basketball experts and myself included predicted this UCLA team would win it all.
We based our prediction on the talent and experience of this basketball team, but what we did not see coming is that Howland would ultimately lack the creativity and adjustments to carry out the mission of winning the championship.
Memphis point guard Derrick Rose is the new mold for the millennium guards of the future: Big, physical and fast. But every team is not going to have a Rose on their roster and chances are another of his kind will not surface anytime in the next 10 years.
If I’m the Miami Heat and assuming they win the lottery, I take Rose with the first pick and pair him with a healthy Dwyane Wade.
I know how good Michael Beasley is, but what concerns me is his motor and ability to take the players around him to a higher level of performance.
That said he’s no worse than No. 2.
National Champion Kansas, may have more pro prospects on their team than any of the teams playing in the Final Four. Brandon Rush is a lottery pick, Mario Chalmers is a sure fire first round pick and at least two others can play in the NBA.
North Carolina showed us how overrated the ACC is. By the way, how many timeouts did Roy Williams have in his holster when that blowout loss to Kansas was over?
There’s hope now for USC, which somehow retained Tim Floyd as its coach although the LSU job was his, if he wanted it.
Any local players who want to learn how to be a good NBA player should sign with USC, if just want to be a good college player go to UCLA. Did you read me Renardo Sidney Jr.?