Just got back in a little while ago. P did he post game thread this afternoon. I asked him if he still wanted to do it given what transpired at Pauley. Well he had the stomach to brave it and still put it up. Props to him.
Meanwhile here is what I was thinking of while watching the debacle at my local watering hole. Here is an exchange from WWL earlier this week. From what I have heard this is might be more than just a little rumor (HT UCLA4Life):
Dave (San Francisco, CA): Chad, there's been some worry down in LA about whether UCLA's disastrous season could mean Malcolm Lee will bolt after the season. I know he had some considerable talk coming into the season, and Howland has a great track record of sending players to the NBA, but is his a name you expect to be in the draft?
Chad Ford (1:54 PM): From what I can gather from people close to Lee, Lee will bolt UCLA for the Draft. Despite a so-so year fro
This is more than just a rumor. As reported by Andy Katz following another humiliating loss earlier this season, Howland himself acknowledged that "there are people in Lee's ear telling him he's a pro -- now."
If Malcolm Lee wants to go pro this badly, I really hope he gets it over with. Hope he leaves UCLA. NOW. ASAP. Hopefully Bobo can transfer out and we can start fresh pretending the freshman class of 2009 never happened. Anderson can either compete against the less heralded or hyped guards coming in next season (we can forget about getting McCallum or Zieglar) or pout on the bench. Yeah, I know we can undoubtedly use Lee's athleticism next season (just like we could have used Ariza in his second season). But I rather have a Bruin team dominated by someone like AA who believed in the magical four letter words, then by players who only think about three lettered NBA.
Everyone is at fault for how it has all turned out with that class which also includes Ben Howland and his entire coaching staff for failing to recognize the kind of talent they need to fit the mindset of Howland basketball.
Watching the game it is pretty clear this team has no go to player on the court. There is no one in this team who has the leadership qualities of AA, DC, LRMAM or PAA. There is no one in this team who has the heart. Perhaps Honeycutt and Lane have what it takes but it is going to take a while. Roll is giving it a great effort but he is nothing more than a role player. Can't fault Dragovic for what took place tonight. Keefe just doesn't have it.
While the post title is directed at Malcolm Lee and delusion that has typified the freshmen class of 2009, it's a total team loss and right now responsibility falls on Ben Howland. He needs to fix this. He also needs to think about starting fresh by establishing a brand new foundation at UCLA. Bruins are not going to go anywhere with the current core in place. If they really want to build a sustainable future, Howland needs to start over with the kids from this year's class and also think hard about how he can change his philosophy to adapt and adjust to current challenges facing the UCLA basketball program.
Ben Howland needs to find a way to reestablish the foundation that led to all those Final-4 runs. It all starts with bringing in players who are not only "ballers" but guys who are hungry, who want to win, who feel a sense of pride in those four letters, and who didn't come in with a sense of entitlement, and delusions of instantly going to the NBA. Somehow all of that was lost with the freshmen class of 2009 which damaged the very core that helped Howland rebuild the basketball tradition at UCLA.
Right now I don't have a lot of faith in any member of that class to bring us back to where we were just two years ago. The seniors for all intent and purposes are going through the motions. I just hope Howland is strong and secure enough to realize he needs to adapt and change his ways, and start building for the future.
At this point, I am looking forward to senior day and looking forward to a roster that is led by players who remind us lot more of AA, RW, LRMAM, PAA, and LMR than the primadonnas from last year's class.