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Ben Ball Roundup

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A little mixed bag of hoop related items this Friday. NCAA wants to tinker around with the 3 point line. Coach Howland is miffed about it:

The NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee recommended Thursday to extend the three-point line by a foot to 20 feet, nine inches — that's three inches longer than the international distance but still much shorter than the NBA line, which ranges from 23 feet 9 inches to 22 feet.

The change still must be approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel during its May 25 meeting. If passed, the three-point line will be moved back for the 2008-09 season — the first significant change to the three-point rule since it was adopted more than 20 years ago.

"Since the three-point line was implemented, the game has changed," said Larry Keating, rules committee chair. "The student-athletes playing are bigger and stronger and we need to adjust for that."

UCLA Coach Ben Howland predicted the change would increase the use of zone defenses and slightly reduce attempts, adding, "I'm a little miffed at adding three inches on top of the international line."
From the same article Pepperdine's head coach Vance Walberg, whose team was 6th in the nation in 3 point attempts said it is not going to impact their offensive mindset at all. I think for UCLA ultimately it won't matter much because we will have the athletes to make whatever adjustments necessary.

Meanwhile going back to Coach Howland FSN's Jeff Goodman lists Howland as one of the top-10 coaches in the country, who could (if they wanted to) explore the NBA. That's not a surprise. Coach Howland is one of the best coaches in America. But he loves the college game way more and he loves UCLA. He has said repeatedly he is at UCLA to restore Wooden's legacy. He is pretty much there but his job is still not complete because a new banner hasn't gone up in Pauley. Moreover, given the pathetic state of NBA featuring bunch of teams with hired mercenaries with no sense of loyalty, dressed up in funny jerseys playing street ball without any semblance of defense, I don't think Coach Howland will even think about leaving what he has restored and rebuilt at UCLA. So rest easy.

Howland will most likely be a Bruin forever and enjoy a glorious retirement to his basketball career in Westwood. However, some analysts think that his first recruit may experience a rude awakening in the NBA:
4. Arron Afflalo, UCLA: He'll go down as one of the better players to come out of UCLA, but his legacy would have gone through the roof had he returned for his senior year, reached the 2,000-point plateau and led the Bruins -- who will be awesome again with freshman center Kevin Love -- to the national title. Instead, Afflalo is rushing off to the NBA, where he won't play a lot, won't score a lot, won't be thought of a lot. At UCLA, which returns Darren Collison and Josh Shipp at guard, he won't be missed a lot.
Ouch. All we can hope right now is that AA finds a right team for himself and proves his critics wrong.

And while AA is now gone many of us are eagerly awaiting the arrival of future Bruins who one day will hopefully live up to the standards established by the latest Bruin All American. One of them happens to Jerime Anderson. Greg Hicks has this bit on the future Bruin in a recruiting roundup at FSN:
Jerime Anderson, 6-1 JR PG Anaheim (Calif.) Canyon. When UCLA's Ben Howland offered Anderson a scholarship last August, there were more than a few raised eyebrows among folks who really didn't understand Anderson's potential as a prospect. After a series of stellar performances by Anderson this month, let's just say the naysayers are suddenly awfully quiet. Anderson's skill level is considerable, but it's more than just skill that makes him one of the elite point guards in the country. Anderson is an underrated athlete, with big hops and better quickness than many people realize. His feel for the game is outstanding and he's a very good defender. His defense, in particular, is an asset that will get him early playing time at UCLA.
Can't wait to see how that class with Anderson, Malcom Lee shapes. It may end up as one of the best recruiting class yet put together by Coach Howland in Westwood.