Ben Howland Squandering Away A Vast Reserve Of Goodwill At UCLA

Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N

I feel like a broken record, because it is the same problem week after week. That is why I am constantly amazed when people start to get excited about this team. They are what they are, they have proven what they are, and they won’t get any better or any worse. They are a .500 team, capable of putting together decent games, but incapable of putting together the consistent play needed to truly be a winner. Only because the Pac-10 is absolutely horrible are they winning any games.

Here is the deal. Any team that “relies” on scoring from Mike Roll is not going to be successful. That is not a cut down to MR. I really  like him and appreciate him alot, and he is doing his best for the team in a tough situation.  The problem is, he is incapable of leading a team offensively. What he is, is an incredible role player who is great as the 4th or 5th option. When teams double off of your stars, you want a Mike Roll there, open in the corner, who can hit a critical 3-point shot. That is what he is. That isn’t bad, but he is limited in what he can do. Personally, given the fact that we are totally relying on him this year, I think he is doing great.

Reeves is a beast. However, he is just a frosh. The problem with freshman is that they are freshman. He obviously needs to learn to pass the ball back out when he doesn’t have a shot and re-post. He hasn’t learned to do that, but he will.  However, there is no mistaking the fact that without him, we’d be a complete mess, instead of just a mess. He is a rock, and he is going to only get better. Only two freshman have ever been placed in the position he has, and that is AA and JF and that is to be freshman leaders of a subpar team and be counted on to lead the team. They made their share of mistakes, but like AA and JF, RN will improve alot and be a force next year.  In fact, JF and AA were so successful and so good that the program took off.

Honeycutt is also incredible, but I also feel we’ll get two years of him after he blows up next year and goes to the NBA. The guy is silky smooth, but the system is not meant for him. He is a flyer. He needs to run, at least on occassion, to be successful. He’ll do great regardless because even if we don’t run or play his style, he can play inside or outside and will get his numbers just based on being so good and being able to create for himself against players whom he will dominate. The guys is legit, and another frosh leader.

I don’t blame Malcolm Lee for much to be honest. I know that may be met with some disbelief by some, but I don’t think he is being used correctly, and for that I place the blame squarely on the shoulders CBH. Part of being a good coach is knowing your players strengths and putting them in the best position to succeed. ML is an incredible slasher and player without the ball. He is not very good at all with the ball, but we are putting the ball in his hands 80% of the time like he is DC or something. DC needed to have the ball and played his whole life at the point. ML doesn’t want the ball and has very rarely played the point his entire career. However, he is doing what is asked for the good of the team.  I actually agree with his tweet last week and don’t hold it against him.  

The guy is frustrated so am I.  Is he ready for the NBA? Hell no. But the guy is lethal as a wing player who can slash and drive to the basket.  IF HE IS ENCOURAGED AND COACHED TO. The offense, the scheme, the lack of playing fullcourt pressure man-man defense, the lack of a half court offense that encourages dribble penetration (my biggest pet-peeve with this team), and lack of any type of fastbreak offense all contributes to his problems. However, in the right system he would be a beast. He is obviously a young kid who is very confused right now and his game is showing it.  He has no confidence and is rightfully frustrated.  But so far, he has played the good and loyal soldier, except for the occasional ill-advised tweet.  I can accept and understand that.

Anderson and Keefe ... no explanation needed. They are two WAC players playing in the PAC-10. They just aren’t very good, but in short spurts they can contribute in certain areas. They are just totally limited and one-dimensional, and the one-dimension isn’t very good either.  Is it their fault that we offered them a scholarship and they accepted? I would take it, that's for sure.

As for Dragovic, I freaking hate him, and he is the main reason that now I have no leash whatsoever for CBH like I once did. For every good play he makes, he makes five bad one’s. He is a wreck as a player. What is he shooting this year?? I mean, if any other player shot so poorly they would be buried on the bench. Why not him? It seems like every game he is 1 for 8, or 2 for 10, or some stupid number like that.  What has he done to deserve such respect?What has he done to warrant any type of loyalty from anyone within the program?  Nothing. He has done nothing but embarrass our program. He has been arrested twice, and when he comes back he steps back into his role. What gives? He plays no defense, he doesn’t box out, he can’t shoot, and he shows no intensity. What does he do I ask you?? because I am still trying to figure it out.

I built up so much respect and admiration for CBH through the years, but his lack of control in this situation has me off the bandwagon.  I am not saying he is not the right guy for our program.  However, I now have my doubts. I have my thoughts on the system, the recruiting, player  management, etc.  I have made them clear in the past.  I can handle all that, and even understand mistakes made and trying to improve. But how do you make the same mistake over and over in regards to playing time for Drag, at the expense of Moser and Lane?  Young players need to develop, and they aren't.  End of story.   We wasted their redshirts as far as I am concerned. Those guys should have a role on the team, if for no other reason than to look ahead to next year and get them ready.  If not, they should have been afforded the opportunity to redshirt, like Stover was.  Players can only improve so much in practice.  Their is no substitute for game experience.   

I am also tired of the “it was bad coaching” line. He pulls Nelson in a game earlier this year after he plays great and we lose. After the game he says he made a mistake, blame the coach. He goes to the zone only in Pac-10 play, then in the paper the other day CBH says “I should have done it earlier, that was bad coaching”…….even though everyone of BN was telling him to do it earlier in the year when it was painfully obvious we couldn’t cover a freshly painted wall. Another excuse. This has happened repeatedly, so much so that it has almost become expected after tough losses.

Doesn’t CBH have assistants that he respects and that he can bounce ideas off of? Or have coaches who will voice their opinions to CBH, even if they disagree? I don’t know.

What I do know is that this team is what it is.  It is not going to get any better.  I know that they aren’t going to change. If so, they would have done so after embarrassing losses to Fullerton and Portland. They are what they are, and it ain’t going to change!

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.

In This FanPost


Trending Discussions