ICYMI ESPN's "draft analyst" Chad Ford fired a repackaged cheap shot against Ben Howland couple of days ago in ESPN Magazine's June 23rd issue:
A scout's view can also be blurred by the nature of the college game. Just as some systems inflate a player's value (see: Adam Morrison at Gonzaga), others prevent players from showcasing their skills. UCLA seems to specialize in hiding NBA talent. Over the past two NBA seasons, Westbrook, Darren Collison and Jrue Holiday all significantly exceeded expectations set by their so-so college stats. Ben Howland's grind-it-out game plan is largely to blame. Those three natural point guards are all blessed with great speed and attacking instincts, but Howland dialed them back to a plodding pace. He also mostly played Westbrook and Holiday off the ball (alongside Collison), which obscured their playmaking skills. Safely in the pros, the ex-Bruins benefited further from the NBA's tight hand-checking rules.
Sticking with our BN policy not going to offer any link for garbage like that. Obviously Ford's take here is dumber than anything you will find coming out from even nimrods like Bill Plaschke. I mean there are just so many points here to debunk that nonsense:
- Ford ignores the point that DC was actually not all that highly recruited out of highschool and it was Ben Howland, who methodically developed him into an NBA ready point guard.
- Ford ignores the point that it was under Ben Howland RW developed into a top-5 lottery pick. How the heck can one argue that RW's talent wasn't well developed, when he exploded from not so widely recruited athlete into a top-5 pick.
- Regarding Jrue Holiday, what Ford conveniently forgets to mention is that Holiday got time in his first year in a horrible 76ers team because of his DEFENSE, something he learned under the system of Ben Howland.
- His point about Howland playing RW and Holiday off the ball is ridiculous, given the fact what DC did at UCLA and what he accomplished in his first year in NBA.
- He also forgot to add how Ben Howland developed "projects" such as RH into viable NBA athlete. He forgot to mention how Howland helped turn LRMAM into one of the most promising young defensive standouts in the Association.
I wonder if Ford has taken similar shots against legendary coaches like Dean Smith for ya know "dialing back" Michael Jordan's potential during his two seasons at UNC.
I can't believe I wasted a fanpost on garbage like this but sometimes nuggets like that are used by opponents (See post on Arizona's board). It is so ridiculous and I wish UCLA would tell this chump to stay away if he thought about coming to Pauley next season to check out our team.