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Change of Culture in Westwood ...

Great read from the NY Daily News:

It has taken Howland three years of prodding, cajoling and recruiting, but he finally is starting to change the culture of college basketball in laid back, Laker-centric Los Angeles, instilling some of those same principles into talented, but sometimes soft players who felt every game should be Showtime, or at least a pickup game at Venice Beach.

The young Bruins, who are 20-5 and are closing in on their first Pac-10 title in over a decade, have become the shining light in an otherwise drab Pac-10 season, not because they can score 90 points but because they are limiting teams to less than 60 in this offensive-minded league.

The Bruins suffered a 70-67 loss Saturday at Washington, but showed how dangerous they can be Thursday when they destroyed Washington State. They limited Dick Bennett's abnormally patient Cougars - who had twice defeated Washington - to just 14 field goals, 27.5% shooting and only 12 points in the first half in a 50-30 victory at a near-empty Friel Court.

It was the fewest points an opponent had scored against the Bruins since Loyola of California had 24 in 1947, 59 years ago.

"It's that magic third year," Howland said. "That's the plan. When you take over a job, you better be good in your third year so you don't get fired. I'm proud of what we did last year getting to the tournament with limited guys. We had four guys on the perimeter playing down the stretch. Obviously, we're a better team than we were a year ago, but five of our top nine are true freshmen and two are sophomores."

They are the young and restless, trying to put their own stamp on this storied program with a physical mind-set and the best defense in the conference.
Good to see not all national reporters/basketball observers are not dishonest blowhards like Steve Lavin who didn't have the balls to state the obvious - that this Bruin basketball program is tenacious, relentless, disciplined, bringing it on the court every single game.

Lavin - the complete stooge that he is - had the balls to take shots at Howland for not beating a top-20 team, convenieeeently forgetting to mention little details like how under him UCLA was getting used to losing to opponents like CSUN at home. Lavin deserves to burn in hell. Not only he is the worst coach ever in the history of college basketball, he is a dishonest and dirty individual who poisoned the culture of UCLA basketball. As someone mentioned before (I believe the writer at BBR) Howland is a gift from God to UCLA basketball fans, who is finally leading us out of those seven years of darkness of inconsistent, fugly, uninspiring "jungle ball" of Steve Lavin by methodically building a power house program. Of course the nonchalant observers of UCLA basketball are not seeing the transformation right away. But for those guys the bandwagon is gonna be full when everything comes together hopefully by the end of this season. The fact that we have such a great chance of winning the Pac-10 this year - is gravy - and a little ahead of Howland's schedule of not just rebuilding a treasure of college basketball but changing a dark culture left behind by an incompetent and dishonest buffoon. GO BRUINS.