You know things are bad when an LA Times writer other than the resident hater Bill Plaschke goes off on UCLA. Yet that is what Dylan Hernandez did in a story entitled “UCLA athletic department looks weak in failed pursuit of basketball coach Jamie Dixon”
Remove John Wooden’s name from the UCLA campus. Take down the Wooden statue outside Pauley Pavilion. The late coach deserves better than to be associated with such a joke of an athletic department.
How naïve the Bruins were to think a defeat to Liberty last year would mark rock bottom for their signature basketball program.
The article drips hate and talks about delusions of the UCLA program. I think this is wrong. I think the incompetence of the Athletic Department is the right place to focus blame. For however long this goes on, I’m going to list an incredible advantage UCLA basketball. Today, it is location. No, I am not talking the weather.
One of the worst parts of being a college coach is recruiting. Coaches spend hours on the road traveling on planes, staying in hotels, and visiting smelly high school gyms recruiting players. It’s the worst part of the job and one of the reasons great college coaches like Brad Stevens and Billy Donovan choose to coach in the pros.
At UCLA, you don’t have to do that. Five players of the top 20 recruits for 2020 are from California, according to ESPN. UCLA’s new coach could recruit an NCAA Tournament championship team without even leaving the state. By comparison, the states of Kansas and North Carolina have one each in the top 20 while the state of Kentucky has none.
Now, I am not saying the new coach will get all five or anything of the sort. I am saying the new coach can be successful and never have to leave California recruiting. There is no place else in the country that can say that. None, zero, zip. And that’s a major plus to a college basketball coach.
So, yeah, Dylan Hernandez, Athletic Director Guerrero is incompetent, but the UCLA job is still elite.
What are your latest thoughts on the UCLA Basketball Coach Search? Sound off in the comments below.
This is your UCLA Basketball Coaching Search Day 98 open thread.