As a result of my brilliant (uh, really lucky) ability to select games in the tournament, I won the unique opportunity to make a main page post on Bruinsnation. I am very honored to have this opportunity and will be brief.
Quickly, I want to say thank you to Nestor and the other founding members of Bruinsnation for creating the site. It has been a blast for me to interact with people that are as passionate, and as I have discovered, in some cases - even more passionate than me about Bruin Athletics!!!!!
I graduated in 1991, and the memories of 1995 still burn brightly in my heart, but this season had some spectacular memories as well. I realize that no one here will be truly satisfied with our football program (and Head Coach) until we beat USC and play for a national title, but I have to say with the exception of the Arizona and USC debacles, it was about as exciting a season as we have had in the past 10 years. The Stanford game will go down as the best 7:32 of football I have seen outside of a UCLA-USC game. Can't really comment on the first 52:28, as I have tried to purge it from my memory. Washington State, CAL, and Washington were great too, even if they did take a few years off my life in the process. Having said all of that, we still need to beat the hell out of USC in 2006!!!
One other thing I will take away from this year in athletics was the resurrection of Drew Olsen, Ryan Hollins, and Cedric Bozeman. I will admit that at times, I was critical of these three and their performances prior to their senior seasons. I want to apologize publicly for that here and thank them for all the great memories they provided this year. They deserve respect and admiration and certainly have mine.
The basketball team exceeded everyone's wildest expectations and to overcome all of the adversity that was thrust upon them and respond as they did is nothing short of miraculous. While it would have been great to hang Banner #12, this team showed incredible heart. Gonzaga proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt. It has a place right along side the Missouri game among the best UCLA moments ever.
There is very little that one can say about Coach Howland that has not already been said. Our program is in the best possible hands and our future is unlimited. I would only ask Dan Guerrero to do the right thing by Coach Howland and give him a long-term deal that keeps him at UCLA for the foreseeable future. We are fortunate to have someone who handles both victory and defeat with class and demands the best from his players.
While I am unable to tell you what recruiting is going to look like beyond next year, I can promise you that our future in 2018 and 2021 is very bright!!! I am aware of two recruits that will help to keep UCLA Basketball at its rightful place at the top of the college basketball world. A first glance at these prospects can be found below:
Thanks for this opportunity and I look forward to seeing everyone in Atlanta a year from now!!!!!