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Appreciating The Caretaker Of Westwood

Let's go with another basketball post right now.  I'd like to wash away the bad taste in everyone's mouth from reading the last post on the lizard of Westwood by sharing a quick note on the Caretaker of Westwood.  Plus this will drive home the point on how much we need to appreciate Coach Ben Howland, here is little something excerpted on UCLA's official blog.

Daven Harmeling, the former sharp shooter for Washington State Cougars, who played a nice role in those Tony Bennet coached squad that would always play our guys tough, wrote the following about about Ben Howland (emphasis added):

"We all know UCLA has been the breeding grounds for NBA draft picks: Farmar, Hollins, Afflalo, Collison, Mbah-a-Moute, Westbrook, Love, Holiday, etc. But I would argue that their talent is item 1B in terms of what has led them to three Final Fours in four years. Item 1A? Head coach Ben Howland. With all due respect to other great coaches in the country, Howland is the best there is. What makes him the best? His teams always come prepared and they always play with passion. But the most important thing is detail. Howland preaches minute detail that most coaches overlook. And when Howland preaches detail, his players listen and respond. Talent obviously helps, but I believe no other coach in the country could have taken those UCLA teams to three-straight Final Fours. And for that reason, I purposely am not even mentioning any current players' names in this article. Because for me, UCLA is all about Howland. And while they don't have the talent in my mind to compete for the Pac-10 title this season, they do have Howland. If I were a betting man -- which I am -- I would never bet against Howland to exceed expectations."

Harmeling wrote that as a part of's look at the Pac-10 race for 2009-10 basketball season.

Just gives us more perspective on how fortunate we are to have Ben Howland after spending 7 years under the Blagojevich Of College Hoops.