Bumped from the fanposts. IslandBruin adds to tasser10's devastating analysis of Ben Howland's mediocre career at UCLA. GO BRUINS. - BN Eds.
I understand that you are in the market for a head basketball coach at UCLA. Let me tell you what I accomplished in the last 5 years of my coaching career.
The Pac-12 is a really tough basketball conference. There may not be very many teams in the top 25 every year, but we have to travel up and down the coast every season. So it took me five years, but in year 5 my team won the conference regular season championship. And my team only finished 5th or 6th in this great conference 2 times in my 5 years.
Do you know how hard it is to get into the NCAA tournament? Only 68 teams make it every year. So you can't expect to go every year, like Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and other schools with a real basketball tradition. But my teams made it to the NCAA tournament 3 times in these 5 years. I don't know how we will do this year, but the other two times we even won an NCAA game each year.
We were a 6 seed in the East in 2009. We won our first game by 1 point, and then only lost by 20 points to Villanova. We were a 7 seed in the Southeast in 2011. We won our first game by 2 points, and then lost by 8 to Florida. Just think of all the teams in the country that would be ecstatic to have won 2 NCAA games in 4 years by a total of 3 points, with a chance to give our players more time to study in the other years when even the NIT didn't want us. For sure, Cal Poly SLO, Middle Tennessee St, Cal State Northridge, and teams like that would be so envious.
Now we do have a decent basketball tradition, our weather is okay, and we have a few basketball players who play in local high schools. So I will be able to recruit against anybody in the country. In fact, my 2008 recruiting class (Jerime Anderson, Drew Gordon, Jrue Holiday, Malcolm Lee, and J'mison Morgan) was ranked number 1 in the country by Scout and Rivals. My 2009 recruiting class (Tyler Honeycutt, Brendan Lane, Mike Moser, Reeves Nelson, and Anthony Stover) was ranked number 9 in the country by Scout. My 2010 recruiting class (Josh Smith, Tyler Lamb, Matt Carlino, and Lazeric Jones) was ranked number 16 in the country by Scout. My 2011 recruiting class (Norman Powell and De'End Parker) was a little light. Last year, I bounced back with the 2nd ranked recruiting class per Scout and Rivals (Tony Parker, Kyle Anderson, Shabazz Muhammad and Jordan Adams).
Now you may wonder if I have the number 1, number 9 and number 16 recruiting classes in the country, why can't my team win more than 2 NCAA games in 4 seasons? First, let me point out that the most recent class (number 2 in the country) had 4 players, and they are still all on the team. 4 for 4- can't beat that. Now it is true that the prior classes listed (16 names total) didn't quite have the same staying power. 2 of the 16 (Holiday, Honeycutt) turned pro after their freshman or sophomore season. This clearly shows what a great teacher I am- they learned everything they needed to know just by being around me for such a short period. I only had to dismiss 2 of the 16 (Nelson, Stover). And 8 of the 16 (Gordon, Morgan, Lane, Moser, Smith, Lamb, Carlino and De'End Parker) transferred. I can hardly be blamed for 8 separate, completely unrelated occurences- talk about coincidence.
And by the way, in case our facilities were sub-standard, you raised $136 million to renovate our arena. And I put together a product which drew an average of 9,550 fans to every game this season. That means there were on average only 4,250 empty seats for every game, which translates to only 76,500 unsold seats this season.
This was my dream job. Just to prove the point, I only took $2 million in salary every year. Talk about a bargain.
Would you make this hire? There is no way I would. And extending Howland's contract would be like making a new hire of a coach with those same accomplishments (or lack thereof) over the last 5 years. Actually, it could be worse, because with only 4 of 16 players surviving from the past 4 seasons, it is hard to imagine any semblance of a stable program going forward.
And, if Doughnut Dan does extend Howland, then you have the question- would you hire an athletic director who makes this kind of personnel decision?
And, if Doughnut Dan does extend Howland, that would mean that Dan himself was extended. This then leads to the question- would you hire a chancellor who makes this kind of personnel decision?