clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Zag Connection ...

Back to a happier topic - Bruin hoops. LA Times has a  cool article this am on Coach Howland's Gonzaga connection:

All the coaching success Howland has enjoyed -- this is the third team he has taken to the tournament and the third time he has reached the Sweet 16 -- began with that first job at Gonzaga.

It was Hillock (Former Gonzaga coach who is now in the front office of the Chicago Bulls - N) who brought him in to augment a staff of only two full-time assistants. Hillock and Howland had met when Howland, 8 years old and living in the Santa Barbara area, would ride his bike over to a neighborhood convenience store where he and Hillock, who was twice his age, would talk basketball.

Howland's favorite player then was Laker guard Jerry West, with whom he shares a birthday. Hillock would tease Howland by claiming other players were better.

Hillock first saw Howland on a basketball court at a local boys' club. Years later, Hillock recruited Howland when Hillock was an assistant at Santa Barbara City College.

Hillock remembers Howland's intensity and emotion.

"During warmups, even when he played at Weber State, Ben would always disappear from the court with 11 minutes to go before the start of the game," Hillock recalled. "What people didn't know was what he had gone off to throw up.

"He was so emotional."
The one player who personifies that Howland emotion and energy for our boys in blue and gold is AA. And AA is doing his homework preparing himself for his greatest challenge of this season yet:
Afflalo will be the Bruins' primary defender on Morrison, the nation's leading scorer, in Thursday's NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 matchup between No. 2 seed UCLA and the third-seeded Bulldogs in Oakland.

Upon arriving in the basketball offices Monday, Afflalo said he was given a DVD of Morrison's 35-point effort in the Bulldogs' first-round tournament win against Xavier. Afflalo said he's studied it more than his class subjects lately, and added it is the first time he's watched film, as an individual, on someone he will guard.

"It's just to get a feel for him, which I've never done before for anybody else, so he's getting a little bit of special attention," Afflalo said. "He's going to find a way to manufacture points, but my job is to make it as tough as possible. He's quick and he can also shoot, so you have to respect both of those abilities."
OC Register has more on AA guarding Ammo. Meanwhile, as I mentioned yesterday as Howland has been heaping praise upon the Zags, Few has been taking some cheap shots at Coach Howland. From Dohn's article this am:
Gonzaga schedule: A fun regular-season matchup - and one the networks would likely jump at - would be UCLA vs. Gonzaga. But Bulldogs coach Mark Few isn't waiting for a phone call.

"Absolutely impossible with Ben," Few said. "Looking at his history of nonleague scheduling at Northern Arizona and Pittsburgh. Fortunately for UCLA fans, (athletic director) Mr. (Dan) Guerrero is in charge of the nonleague schedules.

"If Ben ever wrestles that away, look out. You're going to see five Alabama AT&Ts and four non-Division Is. There's no greater scheduler out there than Ben Howland."
I can only hope Few was genuinely kidding. We will see who gets the last laugh Thursday night. Clock is fixed above. About 37 hrs. left. GO BRUINS.