Let's do a quick reset post to follow up on all the excellent discussion and analysis in our thread on the news of Bobo Morgan and Coach Donny Daniel's departure. As pointed out by Patroclus and freesia39 we now have three available scholarships. We have 7 scholarship guys left in the program and 3 earmarked for signed/committed recruits:
1. Malcolm Lee
2. Tyler Honeycutt
3. Jerime Anderson
4. Reeves Nelson
5. Mike Moser
6. Anthony Stover
7. Brendan Lane
8. Josh Smith
9. Tyler Lamb
10. Lazeric Jones
We will have to keep an eye on the following two dates concerning Malcolm Lee:
- April 25: Deadline to declare intentions to "test" the waters.
- May 8: Deadline to withdraw from the draft.
Ideally Lee wouldn't even waste his time on it and completely focus on off-season workouts to get better for next year. However, if he does "test" the NBA waters we will have to keep an eye on those dates. BTW Howland mentioned in his press conference that he doesn't "anticipate anybody testing the waters this year." We will see I guess.
So the question is how many more scholarships will Howland dole out rest of this recruiting season. He is going all out according to his statement from this afternoon:
"I'd like to use all our scholarships up. That gives us three at least."
And he is not going to worry too much about assistant coaches until his recruiting is done:
"I'm not even worrying about that until our recruiting is done this year. There won't be a look at staff until late in the month."
I kind of like what I am hearing from Coach Ben Howland. From some of the discussions I have had with some folks associated with this program, I am getting the sense Howland is going all out on the recruiting trail and obsessed about getting UCLA back on track.
I also get the vibe that Howland has a plan in place in terms of coaching moves. Donny Daniels move came out of nowhere for us. However, his move was not the only coaching possible move percolating in the background. We have already seen reports of Joe Hillock, the Director of Basketball Operations, is applying for the head coaching position for the women's program at CSUN. That would be pretty good move for him (he also had previous head coaching experience at Southern Utah).
It's pretty standard for Howland assistant/staffers to move on to head coaching positions as we have seen through the recent moves of Kerry Keating, Ernie Ziegler and Chris Carlson (who took over the head coaching position at University of San Diego).
So these are pretty interesting times for UCLA basketball. Part of me is anxious to see how Howland is going to go about restoring the program in next two years. Another part of is me is kind of excited about the possibility of fresh blood and perspective in a program that will perfectly complement the skills of one of the best teachers in this game in Ben Howland.