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Dear Jim Mora: Ben Howland Believes in Trap Games

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Ben Howland's pathetic excuses for UCLA basketball's latest underwhelming performance would embarrass Jim Mora.

Trapped in his uninspiring mediocrity.
Trapped in his uninspiring mediocrity.
Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

Last week at this time, Jim Mora was preparing the UCLA football team for its game in Pullman against Washington State. There was some concern -- or at least questions -- about the Bruins perhaps looking past the last place Cougars as arch rival USC and highly-ranked Stanford were the games that followed.

But Mora would have none of it. He told ESPN:

"I don't believe in trap games," Mora said. "I believe that is a term that the media and fans use. Coaches don't use it. For us, it's just about getting on to the next game, focusing on what we need to do to win this game."

Well, Coach Mora, I guess some coaches do make excuses and blame subpar, unwatchable performances on trap games. For example, the basketball coach whose office is down the hall from you was quoted by the Daily Bruin this morning:

The UCLA men's basketball coach was coming off a thrilling victory over Indiana State on the opening night of newly renovated Pauley Pavilion.

His Bruins had a newfound sense of excitement and they were supposed to build on their momentum against the UC Irvine Anteaters.

Instead, Howland and his Bruins found themselves in a dogfight.

"This was kind of a trap game," Howland said. "I was really worried ... that we wouldn't understand who we were playing."

Let me get this straight -- Ben Howland was really worried that his team wouldn't understand who they were playing. What the fuck does that mean?

I'll tell you what it means to me. It means the coaching staff did not properly prepare the team and when the dust settled and all they had to show for it was an overtime win at home against a team whose roster is vastly inferior -- they blamed the kids and the schedule.

Discuss amongst yourselves.