UCLA Basketball Trainwreck: Howland’s Bizarre & Incoherent Excuses for Not Playing Stover and Lane

Ben Howland met the media yesterday for his weekly presser yesterday. He talked about his team's sorry performance against St. Johns and his pathetic "7 men rotation." His comments about personnel management with regard to Anthony Stover and Brendan Lane appears to be simply bizarre, incoherent and downright hypocritical:

Howland offered up the excuses that he did not play Lane in recent games because he has been "sick" (not sure if anyone asked Lane to verify if he in fact was sick) and that Stover has not been "completely healthy" referring to his "foot." Remember this is the same guy that made Tyler Lamb log over 30 minutes against a joke Trojan team even though he was playing with a sore hamstring. So that explanation doesn't really make sense. It becomes even more bizarre when Howland went on to contradict himself (2:22 mark of the video) about Stover saying:

"In retrospect I probably should have used him some more against St. Johns to keep us fresher."

"Should have" has become the go-to-phrase in these weekly excuse-making presser for Ben. Bruins of course wilted against an undermanned and inexperienced St. John's team for being too tired and fatigued. BTW Ben also talked about Norman Powell "giving more minutes" while doing a slip up and calling him "Russell."

Watching this video gives the impression of a tired coach, who seems to have no idea what is happening with his own players. He seems to be throwing up stuff and hoping reporters will write it down without getting any pushback. That is why he is offering disjointed excuses about not playing guys that seem to be incoherent (if you want to be charitable) or rather kind of dishonest.

The main issue here is of course not Howland. It's his boss - Chianti Dan - who is even more out of touch and have no idea what a complete joke UCLA basketball has become around town. At this rate Guerrero's dumpster fire will not even get an invitation to the NIT:

[A]fter Saturday's debacle just how attractive is UCLA to even the NIT? Say the Bruins split the final four games. That leaves the Bruins at 17-13. Another victory in the Pac-12 tournament puts them at 18-14.There should be at least three Pac-12 schools ahead of UCLA with better records that didn't make the NCAA tournament. Say those three schools are Arizona, Oregon and Stanford. All would draw better than the Bruins.

In recent weeks there have whispers around Westwood about whether UCLA would accept an NIT invitation, the thinking being that it would be too embarrassing for a school that was once the sport's premier program to stoop to playing in March's consolation tournament.

Even more embarrassing would not being invited in the first place.

LOL at Scott Reid referring to chatter going on among thousands of UCLA alums and fans here and elsewhere as "whispers." We will let that slide for now. The underlying point here is how Guerrero's basketball program has become a total embarrassment. All of this is happening while bizarre and hypocritical spin continue to come out of Westwood with no accountability at any level of our athletic program.

GO BRUINS.

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