Some time in the near future: The Bruins hit the road for a weekend series. The team gets off to a slow start under the leadership of its three captains, falling behind by a dozen. Howland calls his first timeout with 12:01 left in the half. Reserves Kyle, Shabazz, Jordan, Norman, and Tony enter the game frustrated but determined to make things happen. After an opponent’s turnover and a TV timeout, the reserves ditch the playbook and turn on the rockets. Playing with unfettered energy, they light up the court with full-court breaks and alley oops, storming back and grabbing the lead. Howland frowns, calls another timeout with 4:01 left in the half, and plugs the starters back in, yelling for half-court sets and putting D. Wear on the opponent’s leading scorer. The lead shrinks and disappears. At halftime, Howland glares at the reserves and unpacks his secret weapon: new uniforms for the three captains. In the second half, the opposing team looks confused as its guest emerges from the tunnel wearing Carolina blue. The new-look starters open with their patented Matador defense, Howland sits the reserves to teach them a lesson, and the game ends with UCLA losing by thirty.
That night in the hotel room, the reserves fire off tweets calling for a new coach. Journalists call Dan Guerrero’s home demanding comments, and it dawns on drowsy Dan that something must be done. He boards a $2,000 business class flight to the team’s hotel, orders a five-course meal in the penthouse to think things over, and then orders the team to his room. Dan reminds all the players to honor their scholarships, consumes a donut, and advises Howland to glue the restless reserves to the bench, where they can’t cause trouble. The "fomenting five" of Kyle, Shabazz, Jordan, Norman, and Tony throw up their hands in bewilderment and march out of the hotel, skipping the next night’s game. Howland shrugs. The following night, he inserts a couple walk-ons when the Wears wear down late in the game. The Bruins return home after a sixty-point blowout – all except the reserves, who are holed up in a coffee shop, filing transfer papers.
Word reaches Chancellor Block that something is amiss in the basketball program. He orders an assistant to issue a statement that reaffirms the importance of diversity on the team and reminds readers of our early season triumph over sister school UC Irvine. He goes back to reading the New England Journal of Medicine.
The rest of the season, Pauley sits empty. The reserves have all left and the depleted team sputters to a 20-loss season. Concerned about declining gate receipts, Guerrero orders a 40% increase in ticket prices for the next season to make up the deficit. Attendance falters more, Guerrero tires of the rumblings from alumni, and Block blanches at the income statement. The basketball department isn’t generating enough grants and hasn’t produced a Ph.D. in years. He orders a conversion of Pauley into a wet lab. Guerrero agrees since his office isn’t in that building, anyway. Howland leaves for an assistant coaching position at the University of North Carolina. A few wrinkled UCLA basketball jerseys lie in a dusty corner at the student store, replaced by a framed photo display of Murphy Hall.