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What’s Bruin: Would UCLA Fans be Happy with Rick Pitino or Bobby Hurley as the Bruins’ Next Head Coach?

Both names have been bandied about since Steve Alford’s termination.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Michigan v Louisville
No. No. No. No. No. Please no.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Welcome to the first What’s Bruin of 2019. Happy New Year!

As some—including myself—are already back at work at the salt mines after the holidays, some of you are still on a break. Jealous! Whether you are working or not, start the morning right and see What’s Bruin in the world of UCLA Athletics.

Men’s Basketball Coaching Search

The SBNation mothership has published an article about potential UCLA hires. Although most are the usual suspects as set forth in Dimitri’s outstanding UCLA Basketball Coaching Search Hotboard, the article floats two additional names that warrant brief comment for totally different reasons.

The first is Rick Pitino. Was it jolting for you to see his mug at the top of this article? It should have been.

Given his recent history, Pitino should be a HARD PASS. UCLA fans have already suffered more than enough through Alford and his baggage. They need a caretaker of Coach Wooden’s program, not one of the smarmiest college coaches in basketball.

The second is Bobby Hurley. Hurley has shown some acumen at Arizona State, but I am viscerally opposed to that Dukie coaching at UCLA. IMO, it is akin to hiring an ex-Trogan. He was public enemy number 1A behind Christian Laettner when I attended UCLA in the late 80s and early 90s. He would be tough to stomach for me and other Gen X fans who remember him from his playing days at Duke.

In related UCLA coaching search news, former UCLA point guard, Lonzo Ball, thinks that former UCLA point guard Earl Watson should be hired. The Ball family is the gift that keeps on giving. Discuss.

Men’s Basketball

The first game of Murry Bartow’s interim tenure begins for the UCLA men’s basketball (7-6, 0-0 Pac-12) team tonight at versus Stanford (7-5, 0-0 Pac-12) at Pauley Pavilion. Tip-off is set for 8:01 pm PT. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.

The Bruins will try to snap a four game losing streak and start out conference play on the right foot. The official site has more information about the game, if you so dare.

Personally, with Alford gone, I think I might stay up late on the East Coast to watch this one, although I wish it was Tyus Edney leading the Bruin instead of Mr. Bartow. I think Tyus has put in enough time at UCLA to at least been given a shot.

Women’s Basketball

After a four-game losing streak, the UCLA women’s basketball team (8-5, 1-0 PAC 12) is riding a five-game winning streak, including a conference opening victory over Southern Cal last Sunday, 72-65. UCLA sophomore forward Michaela Onyenwere had a monster game, scoring 27 points and hauling down 12 rebounds in the Bruin comeback. As a result, Onyenwere was selected as the UCLA/Muscle Milk Student Athlete of the Week. This is the second week in a row that Onyenwere has earned this honor. Great work, Michaela!

The Bruins travel to the Bay Area this weekend for a pair of very difficult games against #17 UC Berkeley on Friday night at 7 pm and #4 Stanford on Sunday at 1 pm.

Men’s Volleyball

The #2 ranked UCLA Men’s Volleyball team kicked off its season last night at Pauley Pavilion, taking on the Princeton Tigers. The Bruins made short work of the Tigers, sweeping the match in three sets, 25-17, 26-24, 25-18. Junior Brandon Rattray led the Bruins with 15 kills, while senior setter Micah Ma’a put away four kills with a 1.000% hitting percentage. If you want more details, check out the match recap from the official site.

UCLA next faces USD this Saturday night, January 5th, at 7 pm.

Men’s Soccer

Freshman midfielder Frankie Amaya will not be returning to the UCLA men’s soccer team for his sophomore campaign, having signed a “Generation Adidas” contract with MLS. For those that do not know, the Generation Adidas program allows professional-ready players in the U.S. developmental system, who are not yet eligible for early entry into MLS through its SuperDraft, a way into said draft, helping MLS to compete with foreign professional clubs for young talent without comparable restrictions on player signing. Amaya is expected to be among the top players drafted—if not THE top player drafted--in the MLS Superdraft on January 12. The freshman All American recorded two goals and two assists in his single season under Head Coach Jorge Salcedo.

UCLA junior midfielder Anderson Asiedu will participate in the MLS combine, which begins today in Orlando, Florida, hoping to be selected in the MLS Superdraft. Asiedu started all but one game for the Bruins in 2018, with two goals and two assists.

Finally, junior forward Mohammed Kamara, who found the net five times for the Bruins last season, including the game winner over eventual National Champion Maryland, has not signed a Generation Adidas contract and is instead testing the waters for a potential professional contract in Germany, with SC Paderborn of 2.Bundesliga (the second tier of German football) thought to have the most interest.

We at Bruins Nation wish all the best of luck to Frankie, Anderson, and Mohammed in their professional endeavors and apologize that our AD didn’t have the guts to allow them to play for a coach that could have maximized their individual talents into team goals while at UCLA.

That’s it for today’s version of What’s Bruin. Have a great day and best wishes for a terrific 2019, Bruin fans!

Go Bruins!