Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com, writing at Grantland, has a piece on once-a-Bruin, now-a-Rebel Mike Moser.
He quotes UCLA head coach Ben Howland from a May story that appeared on ESPN.com. He also quotes Moser:
Howland: "I'm supportive of him finding a program where he will have a chance to play more minutes than we envision he will have here."
Moser: "I feel it is necessary for me personally, to make a move somewhere else so I can play."
Then, he notes that:
Four days later, he scores 34 points and grabs 10 rebounds in a double-overtime win at UC-Santa Barbara, bringing his team's record to 8-0 on the season.
Before asking this question:
Where did things go wrong for Howland? Was it really worth running Moser out of the program for the sake of giving Nikola Dragovic 32 minutes per game? The 6-foot-9 Serbian power forward rewarded his loyal coach by pulling down 4.4 rebounds, shooting 37 percent from the field, andgetting arrested twice, as part of a disastrous 14-18 season. (In both cases, charges were either dropped or not filed.)
Every great game Mike Moser has for UNLV makes Ben Howland and UCLA simply look bad. Moser's decision to attend UCLA after first committing to Arizona was considered a huge coup for us. Then, Howland squandered an entire year of Moser's eligiblity by playing him garbage minutes instead of redshirting him. He also played him out of position at the three, while Moser is really an unconventional four.
Ironically, on a team with too many power forwards already, Moser is the one we let get away and he is turning out to be the best of the bunch and the best pro prospect. Drew Gordon's decision to leave might have been for the best -- there were "issues" involved. Screwing over Moser for a season and then letting him transfer was just wrong headed and its only now coming back to haunt us.