- Bumped again for those who have noted voted in the poll yet. BN Eds.
-Bumped. We are also adding a little poll after the jump. BN Eds.
In simplest terms, there's been a debate in progress between two mindsets regarding our current basketball coach.
One: Howland did great things, he took us to three Final Fours, recruiting lately has been an issue but that happens everywhere, Howland's still the man who can and will return us to not only relevance, but consistent dominance once more.
The other: Howland did great things leading us to three Final Fours. However, his management of recruiting and management of scholarship players once on the team has been awful, the team has suffered, and he is unlikely to return us to national prominence.
In the postgame thread for the OSU game, a commenter posted this (emphasis mine):
...for many who think like me to be convinced Ben must go, we need much greater evidence that it’s him per se versus his recruiting, which i have definitely found wanting.
I’ve read the comments delineating errors in coaching, so regurgitating those on their own will not be enough. If i can be convinced with other facts about Howland’s coaching that prove his best seasons are irrevocably behind us, not only i would be convinced we need a change but i think many thousands of alumni would. The evidence to change the minds of those of us, alumni or not, who have faith in Howland, hasn’t been presented.
Here's what I present, with apologies for SBN making formatting lists and attempting to indent portions being a pain in the rear, and my not wanting to deal as it approaches midnight here:
Ben Howland through his three Final Four years: 126-37 77.3%
Ben Howland through his three Final Four years, not counting the first year post-Lavin: 115-28 80.4%
Ben Howland in only his three Final Four years: 97-17 85.1%
Ben Howland day one through OSU Thursday night: 192-88 68.6%
Ben Howland since his three Final Four years: 73-46 61.3%
Ben Howland since Shipp, DC, and PAA left: 47-37 56.0%
So...the winning percentages for all UCLA coaches since Wooden:
- 86.2% Gary Cunningham
- 85.2% Gene Bartow
- 85.1% Ben Howland's three Final Four years
- 80.4% Ben Howland seasons 2-5
- 75.6% (and #11) Jim Harrick (eight seasons)
- 72.6% Larry Farmer
- 71.1% Larry Brown
- 68.6% Ben Howland overall (8.5 seasons)
- 65.0% Steve Lavin (seven seasons)
- 62.1% Walt Hazzard
- 61.3% Ben Howland post-Final Four years, through OSU
- 56.0% Ben Howland last 2.5 seasons
I realize that Howland has been here longer than half the other post-Wooden coaches. His overall percentage places him 6th in a field of 8. His most recent...not so much. I'll borrow a method of comparison that Fox71 used for our recent football "coaches": for Howland to bring his overall winning percentage up to that of Jim Harrick, all he would need to do is go undefeated for the next 81 games.
I can’t guarantee that Howland’s "best seasons are irrevocably behind us," but the evidence sure doesn’t look good.