I mentioned in the comment thread that one of the big perks for being the number 1 ranked basketball team in the country is that we get all kinds of attention from all across the country. ESPN has already done stories on Ben Ball. As noted in the diary section Luke Winn from CNNSI had an excellent column yesterday commenting on how Howland's intense defensive oriented attack is ruling the nation.
I am also seeing very cool tidbits popping up all across the country. Wanted to share with you couple of examples. Here is Tom Jones, a columnist writing for St. Petersburg Times:
I'm starting to believe that Ben Howland, who has UCLA off to an 8-0 record and a No. 1 ranking, is the best coach in college basketball at this particular moment. Watching the Bruins beat a good Texas A&M team Saturday convinced me that no one is better at coaching defense.
All this is very good for the program. I don't think it's ever worth dreading a number 1 ranking, and how it may paint a target over our team's back. Just not worth it. What this number 1 ranking has done over last two weeks, it is allowing Coach Howland and his players to continue to embellish the supreme brand that is UCLA basketball.
And all this hype, of course, has nothing but a positive impact on recruiting both in the short term and in long term, as Coach Howland and his trusted lieutenants relentlessly keep up their efforts to maintain the blue and gold picket fence around Southern California and roam all across the country (or in some cases beyond) to bring in the best (as well as clean and uncontroversial) players suited for UCLA.