This man claims to love UCLA. Let's see if his actions match his words as he goes into a season where he not only needs to get his team ramped up for a deep March Madness run (anything less will be unacceptable).
It's Thursday, which means we're tantalizing close to the weekend. It also means, at least for this time of the year, that March Madness is officially back (reminder: if you haven't filled out those brackets, get them done now, since you only have a few hours until March Madness gets underway without UCLA . . . again). While we should be spending this part of the year looking at each match-up our Bruins would face in the tournament on their way to (we would hope) at least an Elite Eight, if not Final Four, run, we're instead stuck watching Ben Howland's dumpster fire program flail around with no post-season play, getting snubbed by a second-rate joke tournament like the NIT.
So yeah, that sucks. Like I've said before, the legacy of UCLA basketball, built by Coach John R. Wooden, has been trampled, disrespected, and left to wither and die at the hands of Chianti Dan Guerrero and Ben Howland.
For that, there can only be one solution: FIRE DAN GUERRERO
And with that, let's turn to the bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse for this back-end part of the work week after the jump.
- Starting off with the man at the center of our basketball struggles, Ben Howland, in his Tuesday press conference declared his love for UCLA. In relevant part, Howland said "having the honor of being the head coach at UCLA is a dream that is still hard to grasp as real. I love this place." Well, Ben, it's time to stop talking the talk and start walking the walk. You literally let a tattooed d**chebag step on Coach Wooden's legacy and you've turned the program of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Gail Goodrich, Walt Hazzard, and so many other greats, into a total laughing-stock. So Ben, Chianti Dan gave you one more year: if you really love UCLA, then show us. Bring UCLA back to its winning ways by doing things the right way, the UCLA way.
- Turning to football, the race for the top recruits in the Class of 2013 is already well underway, with top safety prospect Su'a Cravens of Vista Muririeta already getting love from top programs in every corner of America. Coach Mora would love nothing more to land the local product, who is widely considered the top safety recruit in the nation, but it appears that Cravens still has a lot of exploring to do. After visiting UCLA for junior day, Cravens is still wide-open, planning on visiting Michigan, Nebraska, and Ohio State in the near future.
- Speaking of Cravens, per his Twitter account, he has narrowed his list of planned official visits down to Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, and two others to be determined later. While this certainly bodes well for Wolverines, Huskers, and Buckeyes, I would not count Coach Mora and his crack recruiting staff out until the ink is dry on the NLI.
- Finally, in academic news, the British publication Times Higher Education published its annual world-rankings based on "world reputation." Naturally, Harvard, MIT, and Cambridge were the top three. That said, right after that was Stanford (fourth) and Cal (fifth). UCLA? Ninth, behind only the top five, Oxford, Princeton, Univ. of Tokyo, and Yale. Not too bad for our Bruins. U$C? Somewhere in the sixty-first to seventieth range, well outside the top 50. Funny how U$C can only catch UCLA in the cooked U.S. News and World Reports' often criticized and flawed report.
With that folks, those are your Bruin Bites for this Thursday morning. Sit tight and get ready for some March Madness without our UCLA Bruins, or as it's better known in these parts, March Sadness. The open watching thread should be up later this morning.
For now, fire away with your comments, thoughts, etc.
FIRE CHIANTI DAN GUERRERO