Lot of bad news have come out of UCLA basketball this week. May be we can end it on a hopefully note with the news breaking from Jon Gold that assistant coach Scott Duncan may be headed to Wyoming:
Sources are indicating that UCLA men's basketball assistant coach Scott Duncan is going to be hired as an assistant at Wyoming, and that an announcement could come shortly from the Cowboys.
Duncan was hired by head coach Ben Howland in 2007 after seven seasons with Ernie Kent at Oregon. He will be rejoining new (and old) Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt, who returns to the Cowboys after assisting Billy Donovan at Florida. Duncan previously coached with Shyatt at Wyoming in 1997-98 and then at Clemson for two seasons.
It is not clear how Duncan contributed to the growth of this program in last three years. The basketball program has been nationally irrelevant since he arrived in Westwood. The only accomplishment on Duncan's resume at UCLA was the recruitment of Zeke Jones, who previous to his injury issues showed signs of emergence as an offensively serviceable point guard (without a lot of upside on defense).
Duncan's departure gives Howland a golden opportunity to inject much needed energy in a staff, who have been average to below average on the recruiting front.
Addition of Phil Mathews was a welcome addition last year. Matthews from what we have heard have done a good job of much needed relationship building in the recruiting world including making headway in the pursuit of Shabbaz Muhammad. We hope now Howland will make an effort to bring an assistant who can come in with the reputation and hunger of a tenacious recruiter in the mold of Kerry Keating.
It would be good to have someone in the staff besides Tyus Edney, who can our players relate to as a mentor, and who will not be afraid to doggedly pursuit recruits like Keating did with blue chip talents such as Russell Westbrook. Some of the names I mentioned last year included guys like Ross Land, Miles Simon and Ray Lopes.
It will be interesting to see how Howland fills the slot. Hopefully he will think about it strategically and add someone who will lend him a much needed helping hand in the world of recruiting. He needs it ... badly.