5 Total Updates since November 28, 2012
5 months ago Article 73 comments
Good luck to former Bruin Center Joshua Smith who escaped Ben Howland’s screwed up program and is transferring to a sane one led by John Thompson III.
6 months ago Update 38 comments
Eammon Brennan does a good job reporting on Josh but two paragraphs are worth highlighting right now. First of all the confirmation of what we have been saying is national:
1. UCLA players have been leaving Ben Howland's program in droves -- via transfer, dismissal, or you name it -- over the past four seasons. Earlier this week, guard Tyler Lamb took off. At this point, a week that goes by without a UCLA defection feels like the exception, not the rule. That program is currently a disaster, but that's a topic for another day.
But Eammon goes further (emphasis mine):
This season, through six games, Smith is averaging 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in 13.5 minutes per game, all career lows. Some of that has to do with Howland's new talent, as well as Howland's undying affection for the Wear twins.
ESPN has had undying love for the Wear twins. For a writer for ESPN to admit that Howland has a man-crush or whatever else is a big deal.
Dan, everyone understands that Josh had issues. But the bigger issue is Ben Howland. And Ben, you survived playing Nikola Dragovic too much but your undying "affection" for the Wear twins is going to not only bring down the season but also you. The only question is when and how bad is it going to get.
6 months ago Update 24 comments
Sensitive to criticism over his apparent lack of pro-active action regarding the state of UCLA's basketball program, Dan Guerrero acted swiftly following the departure of Joshua Smith.
"I'm tired of fans thinking that I don't strap it on every day," Guerrero stated to no one in particular. "Look, you guys don't see what I do behind the scenes. Did you see how quickly I was able to get that announcement out today? That's because of my forethought."
"Noticing a trend, months ago I formed a committee to address speeding up the official statement process for the steady stream of departures from Ben Howland's basketball team. I called it the Blast Statement committee. What with the twitter and the blogs and all that internet-time stuff, it's really important to get the our BS out quickly and efficiently."
Guerrero shifted in his seat as he discovered an old doughnut stuck under his butt and promptly stuffed it in his mouth. Munching enthusiastically he continued. "The BS committee convened for weeks, hired a consulting firm and brought in focus groups. I am happy to share with you the fruits of that labor costing a mere $500,000. Below is the reusable BS template that allows me to get our BS out within minutes every time a Ben Howland recruit decides to leave."
UCLA [class] [position] [player name] has chosen to leave the men's basketball program and has been granted his release, effective immediately. [player name] has participated in [xx] UCLA games in the 2012-13 season and averaged [x.x] points and [x.x] rebounds per game in [x.x] minutes played. "[player name] is a fine young man who has meant a lot to this program," said UCLA head coach Ben Howland. "I know I speak for myself and my staff when I thank him for his time in Westwood and wish him well in his future endeavors." A native of [city, state], [player name] entered his [class] season with the Bruins averaging [xx.x] points, [x.x] rebounds and [xx.x] minutes played in [xx] career games ([xx] starts) over his first [x] years in Westwood. "I have made the decision to leave the program for personal reasons," [player name] said. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at UCLA and am grateful for the opportunity that has been presented to me here."
"You can't tell me that's not being proactive! By the way, can I interest you in a copy of my 'AD for Dummies' book?"
It is unclear whether Chancellor Gene Block is working on a similar template.
6 months ago Update 94 comments
From the official UCLA site:
UCLA junior center Joshua Smith has chosen to leave the men's basketball program and has been granted his release, effective immediately.
Smith participated in all six contests UCLA has played in thus far in the 2012-13 season and averaged 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in 13.5 minutes played.
"Joshua is a fine young man who has meant a lot to this program," said UCLA head coach Ben Howland. "I know I speak for myself and my staff when I thank him for his time in Westwood and wish him well in his future endeavors."
A native of Kent, Washington, Smith entered his junior season with the Bruins averaging 10.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 19.5 minutes played in 65 career games (24 starts) over his first two years in Westwood.
"I have made the decision to leave the program for personal reasons," Smith said. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at UCLA and am grateful for the opportunity that has been presented to me here."
6 months ago Update 0 comments
The Dumpster fire engulfing Dan Guerrero and Ben Howland's Basketball program just keeps getting larger and hotter. Over the last couple of hours, we have been tracking reports that Joshua Smith is on the verge of leaving the team. A few minutes ago, Bruin Report Online published a story saying Josh has left the program (not behind a firewall now):
Josh Smith has decided to leave the UCLA basketball program, according to sources.
Smith didn't show up to practice Tuesday, and Wednesday indicated to the UCLA coaches he intended to leave the program.
The coaching staff then tried to convince him to stay, but many sources are telling us Smith has decided to leave, and has informed UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero of his decision.
Baxter Holmes has also confirmed the news through Morgan Center.
UCLA confirms that Josh Smith has left the team.— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) November 28, 2012