UCLA fires Ben Howland


Five years ago Ben Howland led UCLA to its third consecutive Final Four, including a national title game appearance in 2006. It seemed like UCLA had found the proper successor to Steve Lavin in Ben Howland. Tonight Ben Howland is no longer employed in Westwood.

Yahoo! Sports broke the story a few hours ago. The official announcement from UCLA on the dismissal of Ben Howland should happen during the next couple of days. Again this will be a case of the press release being out-dated and useless by the time it’s sent out. Then again, people knew Ben Howland was on the hot seat for some time.

Too many good players transferred. Too many subpar seasons. As AWFUL as UCLA looked in their opening round loss to the Gophers, they are college hoops blue blood, literally and figuratively. The UCLA fight song is still the Mozart Symphony #40 of college basketball. Expectations are always sky high in Los Angeles.

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#17 UCLA Bruins: College Basketball 111 in 111


Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

With the uncertainty surrounding Shabazz Muhammad’s eligibility, it’s difficult to rank the UCLA Bruins.  With Muhammad, they are a potential Final Four contender.  Without him, there is still improved talent but the Top 20 seems like a more reasonable expectation.

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UCLA Basketball: Back on the Map? You Bet!

UCLA Bruins

UCLA Bruins head coach Ben Howland has had a disappointing past few seasons. The Reeves Nelson-saga really wore-on the UCLA program and brought the program down. It seems like the dark days are behind the Bruins and Howland, though. Thanks to a great recruiting class for the upcoming season, the Bruins are poised to make a PAC-12 title run and a run at a national championship. Howland has put the Bruins back on the map. Here’s why: [Read more…]

10 Non-NCAA Tournament teams ready to make a splash next season


College basketball fans whose team didn’t make the NCAA Tournament are probably already looking ahead to the 2012-2013 season.  Typical tourney teams like UCLA, Arizona, Butler, Villanova, and Maryland should have bounce back seasons next year and vie for a spot in the Big Dance.  Here are ten non-tourney programs to watch out for next season.

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UCLA Basketball: a leaderless program in chaos, says SI report


The debate about whether or not UCLA Bruins head coach Ben Howland is on the hot seat is about to end. Now that a new Sports Illustrated study has been released, which profiles physical fighting between players, rampant alcohol and drug abuse, and most importantly, Howland’s aloof, hands-off approach, he may want to start enhancing his resume.

According to the AP, the past four years of UCLA players and coaches say that Howland:

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College Hoops 101 (3/8/11)

ucla basketball

First off, let me say that I am rather disappointed with my lack of college basketball watching this season.  I did say that I was going with a “quality over quantity” approach this year and not watching a game for an eight-day stretch when I was covering the Packers in the Super Bowl did not help my numbers.  My goal this week is to watch all 15 Big East Tournament games (you can check out my preview/predictions for that tourney) and hit the 25-game mark this week.

If you are unfamiliar with College Hoops 101, it is a weekly feature here at The Sports Bank that runs every Monday and breaks down everything you need to know going on in the world of college basketball.  I will look back at the previous week and peak ahead to some of the key match-ups in the next seven days.  Click here to check out my updated bracketology.

By: David Kay
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Oliver Purnell Takes DePaul Job

by Peter Christian

Oliver Purnell will cast aside his orange blazer and don something much more muted as the new head coach of the DePaul Blue Demons basketball team. The former Clemson coach was announced as the DePaul chief this morning and it came a bit as a surprise to those who have followed the DePaul situation closely.

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