Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE
Coach's program continues to fall in the pecking order of California basketball programs. When is enough, enough?
There's only so much the freshmen can do.
The activity of Shabazz Muhammad and Jordan Adams was the only thing keeping this from being yet another out of control blowout that we've become all too accustomed to under Ben Howland. You're looking at a team now that is completely out of options, especially with seven scholarship players with the absence of Tony Parker. The game plan was simple: Zone up and dare SDSU to beat us with the outside shot. And beat us they did. After a half that had SDSU settling for 15 3's and making only 5, that cold streak ended after Xavier Thames got hot and busted Howland's zone.
So the only other avenue to winning was to outscore the Aztecs, and with how the offense has looked so far this year, did anyone have any confidence that that was going to happen? Howland's motley crew did well for themselves in a less structured offense, but still shot a dismal 42%. It's more entertaining, but it's not winning basketball. Sadly, winning is not really the priority anymore with Howland's depleted team. Against SDSU's man to man defense, UCLA had a hard time getting anything close to the basket, and the Aztecs felt free to overplay our backcourt and apply pressure. It says something really sad about our frontcourt (well, the Wears anyway) that Shabazz Muhammad was our most reliable interior threat.
Just a week ago, when Howland still had an outside shot at fulfilling expectations this was one of the must win games to secure good tournament seeding. The fact that we're no longer concerned with such things tells you all you need to know about the rest of this year. Watch for entertainment, and to see the kids have a good time and roll the ball out there and play. But there's no hope for fulfilling expectations anymore. The farewell tour rolls on, and with this the Bruins are, at best, the third best team in California. How's that for a kick in the pants?