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Bomani Jones: A Sports Media Figure Making Sense of Ben Howland and UCLA Basketball

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ESPN panelist and SB Nation contributor Bomani Jones shares his thoughts via Twitter on Ben Howland and the soon-to be open UCLA Men's Basketball coaching position.

Whether you are a player or a fan, the only fun part of UCLA Basketball games the past few years
Whether you are a player or a fan, the only fun part of UCLA Basketball games the past few years
USA TODAY Sports

Whatever Morgan Center might be saying at the moment about Ben Howland's status at UCLA, pretty much everyone in sports media and otherwise knows that his termination is imminent, if not already affected. With this news comes the typical reaction by said sports media figures about how great a coach Ben is (not 'was); how unreasonable the expectations of UCLA fans are and that the job really is not good enough to attract talented coaches.

ESPN personalities like Jay Bilas and Doug Gottlieb have been running point on this effort so far, but not everyone affiliated with the four letter network has gotten the memo. Bomani Jones, a regular panelist on ESPN's Around the Horn and other programs on the network (and a contributor to SBNation.com, along with other media ventures), spent much of his Saturday tweeting about the demise of the Ben Howland Era in Westwood.

His day of UCLA began with a Twitter debate with former LA Times sportswriter Baxter Holmes (aka Shabazz's Savior) about how bad to feel for Howland given how his time leading the Bruins has ended.

CBS Sports' Jeff Goodman chimed in to talk about what some of Ben's former players thought about him, leading to discussion of one of the main points that we have been making about why Howland needed to be replaced: The inexcusably 'dreadful' state of recruiting the past few years.

After the conversation about Ben was done, Bomani turned to tweeting about the UCLA job, Howland's style of play and his thoughts on candidates - he really likes the idea of Shaka Smart coming to Westwood.

To be fair, Bomani might not know how dangerous an assumption that is to make. He does understand that UCLA remains an elite job in the college basketball world and the pull that it can make on any coach.

To note, he is not as big on Brad Stevens as most others, at least for UCLA. The thought being that recruits are not as drawn to a slower, more deliberate style of play (though Stevens does not have Ben's personality issues wrt recruiting and player retention) as compared to Shaka et al. He talked a bit about Ben's personality, as well:

His response to some folks that responded to his posts noting that players dislike playing for Ben by playing blame on the players that chose to come to UCLA:

Jay Bilas's water-carrying for Howland was also a point of contention for Bomani:

Also do not count him as one of the people who are shocked! Shocked, I tell you! That the coach of a conference-winning team could be on the hot seat:

Just to point out that winning a major conference is not necessarily a great way to judge the quality or future prospects of a coach:

I was at UVa the year that Leitao led the Cavaliers to the regular season ACC Championship. It was a great experience to be a part of, but meant little to the future lack of success for the program or for Leitao, who was fired two Tournament-less years later in favor of Tony Bennett.

He might not be a Bruin, but he knows us well enough. so let's just end it on this: