Those who defend Howland based on the fact that he has not had the recruits the last few years will be hard pressed to use that excuse next year. Why? Well UCLA recruits have not lost a game in their last 100.
Jordan Adams, a UCLA signee from Oak Hill Academy, went 44-0 this season and his team is ranked No. 1 by USA Today and ESPN.
. . .
And [Kyle] Anderson will take a 64-game winning streak into Tuesday's New Jersey Tournament of Champions final against Plainfield at the Izod Center. He is 98-1 in his last three seasons, including one at Paterson Catholic.. . ..
"[Anderson] is about winning," Hurley added. "He's lost one game since the beginning of his sophomore year of high school."
That's right Adams and Anderson have not lost a game this year. And they are not the biggest prize.
While Kentucky looks to be in prime spot to win the NCAA Tournament, Kentucky fans are starting to doubt they will win the Shabazz Muhammad sweepstakes. From Nation of Blue (emphasis mine):
A lot of people believe that coveted 2012 forward Shabazz Muhammad will ultimately end up at UCLA.
Kyle Anderson Sr., the father of UCLA commitment Kyle Anderson, is no exception.
Anderson Sr. tells Adam Zagoria that he believes Muhammad will eventually join his son as a teammate under coach Ben Howland. . . .
In the end, Anderson's comments hold no more weight than that of the average fan. Nonetheless, it's becoming harder and harder to argue against his logic.
Let me note these kids are all winners and not the Charlie Sheen variety. There are some questions of course (Adams weight being too high and Anderson being too slow) but there are no rumors of attitude issues or the like. These kids are all the kind coach's dream about. Howland will have no excuses (not that he has any good ones now).
Kyle Anderson has been a driving force behind the recruiting and a huge Ben Howland supporter. He says:
"We could be Final Four, maybe even a national championship team good," Anderson said. "With or without him [Shabazz], I think there's a lot of talent at UCLA, but mainly with him we could do some real good things."
I hope you are right Kyle. And Ben Howland needs you to be right.