We will start this Monday with pleasant topic: Ben Ball. By all accounts Coach Howland may have already put together the number 1 recruiting class for 2008 (without having to hire assistants with shady pasts). UCLA doesn't have any additional scholardship to give out. So the question circulating around the world of Ben Ball is whether Howland will offer a fifth scholarship? Dohn's thoughts:
So where would the 5th scholarship come from. BBR has some answers:
UCLA could also gain another scholarship through a transfer by a current player. With the recent success of the basketball program, UCLA is once again attracting the interest of the nation's most elite players, subsequently, competition for playing time on Nell and John Wooden's Court has become more intense and some players may consider transferring elsewhere rather than riding the Bruin bench all season.
Another possibility is the early departure of forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. The forward from Cameroon announced earlier this summer he had also considered making himself available for the NBA draft. Although he did not have the type of sophomore year some had expected, Mbah a Moute still possesses the type of athleticism and tenacity to play in the professional ranks. If he can develop a consistent midrange jump shot as a junior, he may be a candidate to leave early for the NBA next season. Mbah a Moute will have plenty of opportunities to develop his perimeter game as he is slated to play major minutes at the wing next season.
The UCLA coaching staff has some tough recruiting decision to make, yet its the type of problem top schools regularly face each year. And after four years into the Ben Howland-era, which includes back-to-back Final Fours, the UCLA basketball program has undoubtedly regained its elite status.
One way or another you can bet on Coach Howland making smart and calculated decision. I am not too worried about this.