[Updated. The UCLA beat writer and hack who wrote this article is a USC Grad.]
Before the game tonight between UCLA and USC does the LA Trojan Times do a preview of the game? Of course not, they know that USC is out of the running for the tournament this year and so the UCLA beat writer chooses today to do a hit piece on UCLA recruiting.
Hey, it is the Trojan Times, U$C's 2010-11 season is virtually over so let's do our best to screw UCLA and maybe help U$C in the future. Even if the article had merit, Ben Howland has had some recruiting misses, its timing is extremely suspicious. Before the game, that most of the Los Angeles area fans and especially some recruits will be watching, they chose to do a hit piece on CBH, who is 5-1 since UCLA last played USC while USC is 2-4.
And worse yet, the Fishwrap does not even follow basic journalism rules and try to tell both sides. An example, the article cites a North Carolina recruiting expert (I guess there aren't any in California) and goes on to this North Carolina example:
The competition for such players is fierce, of course, even from across town.
USC prevailed when forward Alex Stepheson transferred from North Carolina.
The former North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake standout said he picked the Trojans over the Bruins in part because he "wanted to help create a great program for USC and be a part of it, as opposed to just blending in at UCLA."
Howland makes no secret of his preference for area players such as Stepheson because he said they typically come from tight-knit, academically oriented families that fit the UCLA mold. On the current roster, nine of the 11 scholarship players hail from California, including seven from Southern California.
Okay, a couple things. At the time of Stephenson's transfer UCLA had at the PF/Center spot Kevin Love, LRMAM, AA2, and supposedly the best freshman class in the nation coming to take their place, good luck breaking in there. But even given that point, how about the fact the article does not mention that UCLA just got TWO recruits from North Carolina, the Wear twins, who will be playing for UCLA for the next three years? Why does that point not come out? Is this because it is a hit piece designed to help USC?
Before the last UCLA-USC game the fishwrap's SC beat writer wrote:
USC will have many recruits on hand for Sunday's game, including shooting guard Shabazz Muhammad, a Las Vegas native who is considered one of the top five prospects nationally in the class of 2012.
The punch line? Soon after the game Shabazz dropped USC from his list of potential schools and moved UCLA up to his three leading schools. Why doesn't the UCLA beat writer mention that?
Also at a time when other UCLA beat writers are praising Zeek Jones for being better than expected and noting how CBH found another diamond in the rough, the fishwrap is busy quoting legendary difficult parent Stan Love on how UCLA does not play "modern basketball." Stan is the same guy who drove Kevin to tears when he went through Kevin's high school team's parking lot putting on bumper stickers saying "Fire" the coach for benching Kevin for being late to school one game and not playing Kevin's older brother more. And there are a number of dandy quotes like this one from Stan:
"They say I’m like an Earl Woods or a Marv Marinovich," Stan jokes. "I can give those guys a run for their money, I guess."
Yikes. In any case I think it is fair to say Stan Love is not the fairest judge of things when it comes to his son. It is amazing that Kevin remains as classy and grounded as he is. FWIW, Kevin's quote in the article.
"Could [Howland] have let a little bit of freedom go on the offensive end?" Love said. "Yes and no. But as far as defensively, he's prepared everybody at the highest level."
BN has documented the problems with CBH's recruiting. Such an article can legitimately be written. But to do so on the same day as USC v. UCLA game and to imply that USC is beating UCLA, just shows the LA Times remains the Trojan Times, even the UCLA beat writer.