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UCLA: Revived Recruiting Powerhouse

Trouble brewing? More like “Trouble Bruin.”  …Alright, I’ll stop.

I thought the days of Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, and Jrue Holiday were over.  UCLA’s recruiting over the last few years has been so bad they had to take North Carolina’s castaways (Wear twins) just to make it look like they were getting good players.  All of a sudden, though, the Bruins have pulled out all the stops and are on an absolute tear, getting talented guys left and right to sign their names on the dotted line.

In case you missed it, and really none of us were paying a lot of attention, Tony Parker committed to UCLA yesterday, causing ESPN to rank their incoming class Number One, over our own Wildcats.  I disagree with that assessment (not nearly enough balance), but it got me to wondering how Ben Howland was able to get some of these guys to go play for him.  I guess that’s what it feels like to be another team in the SEC.

Let me start by saying that these players absolutely should go wherever they want to go, and I don’t begrudge them anything for their choice.  You want to be at UCLA, then knock yourself out.  Cal himself says that our program “isn’t for everybody,” and I think that’s been evident so far this offseason.  I hope Shabazz and Co. make some noise in the Pac-12; nobody has for a few years now.  But all that being said, there have got to be some reasons that the Bruins are cleaning up this year.  I’ve identified a few below that I think might have played a role.

 

Los Angeles Factor

I’ll be the first to tell you how great Lexington is.  I’m from Frankfort, so Lexington has always been the place to go when you really needed something; I always liked coming here because it felt like there were so many choices for everything.  There’s even a mall!  And now that I live here, it’s only gotten better.  But, let’s be real for a second here, Lexington is not Los Angeles.  I’ve never been there, but I can imagine what it would be like to be a star athlete in a city like that.  Even though you’re inevitably overshadowed by Kobe, Blake Griffin, CP3, and all those guys, you’ll still get a small amount of attention in a very large market.  And that’s a very big deal.

Oh, not to mention the beaches.  Beaches is crazy in LA.

 

Freedom

I thought for sure that the scathing Sports Illustrated article on the lifestyle of the Bruin’s basketball team, and the lack of discipline from their coach, would be a death knell in the ability for UCLA to recruit.  But all of a sudden, after that article comes out, he’s got a top recruiting class and is aiming for a non-losing season.  How?  Autonomy, that’s how.  It can be appealing to players to know they’re going to a place where the coach is mostly “hands-off.”  I’m not saying that these guys are going to UCLA so they can get liquored up before practice and drop E and all those other things the article mentioned; I’m just saying sometimes it’s easier to know that you’re on your own without somebody looking over your shoulder every ten minutes.  I bet they wouldn’t get that type of treatment from Cal.  This amount of freedom could get them into trouble, but I don’t think it will.  The important part is that no matter what they decide to to, whether it be work hard or relax, they’ll be able to do it at UCLA.  And that brings us to the third thing:

 

Fun

Our team achieved a lot last year.  Like, breaking records and winning championships and the like.  We knew that already.  Did they have fun?  Well sure, they probably had a little fun.  They’re certainly having fun now.  But I’ll wager dollars-to-donuts that during the season, it was ten times more work than it was fun.  Their goal was a title, and they knew they had to work hard to get it.  Contrast that with the goals the UCLA guys have mentioned:  making UCLA better, and selling out Pauley Pavilion.  Nothing in there about a championship.  That makes me think, and I could be wrong, that these guys don’t really care to work hard enough to win a title.  In their one year before going pro, they want to kick back, get a little sun, maybe try that virgin daiquiri everyone’s been talking about, and just straight chill.

Honestly, that sounds awesome.  I’m not saying I blame those guys.  But that’s not how you win championships.  All play and no work leaves the trophy case empty.

 

Academahahahaha

Sorry, couldn’t even get that one out with a straight face.

 

If you’re only planning on spending one year in college, like a lot of our guys do, and I’m sure a lot of these UCLA guys will, you really have to choose between two ways to spend that year.  1) Do you want to work hard, compete, and maybe win a championship? Or 2) Do you want to relax, have some fun, and bring some attention back to a starving program?  Neither of those choices is better than the other.  Fans like one of them a little more, but if I were a player, I couldn’t say that I wouldn’t choose Option 2.  However, there is a distinct difference, and I think our guys, led by Cal’s instruction, are Option 1 guys.  So even if our recruiting class ends up being “second” to UCLA’s, I’ll take guys that want to work and compete over guys that want to chill.

Any. Day. Of. The. Week.

Article written by Corey Nichols

75 Comments for UCLA: Revived Recruiting Powerhouse



  1. Azubuike's Bicep
    9:07 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Does anyone else not find it weird how all of the sudden UCLA is getting all top talent? I guess the normal response to that would be,”Well Cal does the exact same thing.” But Cal has proven he is a great recruiter. Ben Howland really hasn’t. All of the sudden, after the scandal that took place last year, they are getting talent left and right. This isn’t sour grapes because they got Shabazz, it’s just an observation.



  2. gr8ness
    9:11 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    I do find it odd that UCLA is now a destination for young talent. However, there is a lot to be said about a good party with an anarchist attitude.



  3. Syrin
    9:14 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve said ALL ALONG that anyone goingto UCLA has no desire to win. The inmates run the prison which means YOU WILL NOT DEVELOP AS A PLAYER! Cal makes OUR players bust their hind quarters and each and every player is FAR better when they leave the program than when they entered. Our guys will compete for a national championship. UCLA will not. They will be the run and gun undisciplined team from hell.

    Just wait until someone discovers the booster funding this latest UCLA recruiting class.



  4. Bubba Earl
    9:16 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    If your plans are to work as hard as you can to fulfill the dream of playing pro ball, you do not have the time to “play” on beaches or liquor up. Lexington makes you as a player focus on the future at hand. UCLA, reminds me of the movie, Blue Chips, and I’ll bet their rise to prominence has mirrored itself just like the movie!



  5. UKeith26
    9:20 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    they still have larry drew II as their PG, so they are gonna suck



  6. D
    9:23 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    People, take off your blue tinted glasses sometimes. UCLA does have a little bit of tradition. It may be because I’m a little bit older, but the sight of the UCLA unis is still something to be reverred. Visit their campus & tell me you wouldn’t be enticed: Beverly Hills 1 mile east, Santa Monica pier just to the west. Also, they are reopening Pauly Pavillion, I’m sure that is a major selling point. The thought of UK, IU, UL, UCLA as top 4 teams is awesome. Old school. On top of that, NC & Duke can squirm as even NC State will be above them.



  7. jls
    9:24 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Corey, you really should stop writing. Seriously.

    This while idea that somehow UCLA had more “fun” than UK did. For most athletes, it is no “fun” to lose, to be an embarrassment, to be ridiculed in the sports pages and on ESPN. How exactly do you think that is fun? You seem to think hard work and “fun” are mutually exclusive. That is just sad. Bazz doesn’t seem like a “I am justing to go coast and have fun” kinda guy.

    Sloppy post.



  8. Uglymuffin
    9:26 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    These kids are going there because they know they can run the program. They know Howland hasn’t been in control of his team for years and that he allows his best players to do anything they would like. So they get complete freedom on and off the court, in LA, while playing at a prestigious program. It won’t matter if Shabazz goes 2-15 or never passes, HE WILL NEVER BE BENCHED! He’ll never get a stern talking too or even a side ways glance. Howland needs these players to try to save his job and he won’t have the backbone to stand up to any of them.



  9. Roland
    9:26 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Who ever did that ranking for ESPN is ignoring their own ranking for players.
    Number don’t lie, Just the person using them.
    Here is my lie.
    Ranking for UCLA recruits by ESPN: 2+5+26+41/4 = 18.5
    Ranking for Kentucky recruits by ESPN: 1+13+15+40/4 = 17.5
    Kentucky’s recruits are ranked higher as a group by ESPN.
    17.5 is higher rank than 18.5. Logic doesn’t count I guess for ESPN.



  10. CATS
    9:26 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Yea I do not understand why they would be ahead of us. We have #1, 13, 15, and 40 per their rankings. UCLA has #2, 7, 26, and 41 per their rankings. It would seem close but I would take our 3 top fifteens with our worse player slightly better than UCLAS that two top #10’s and a rollie pollie ollie. Plus Goodwin is underrated per ESPN. Seems like they are ready for a change, but I think we will lock up Bennett to keep that form happening.



  11. Roland
    9:27 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Actually, UK’s rank should be 17.25 not 17.5.



  12. CATS
    9:29 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    7.) Its kind of easy to get ripped in sports pages when you are sleeping with models, knowing you will still get drafted and make millions in the NBA per you potential, and you can walk all over your coach. Trust me it would be nice



  13. Jake
    9:29 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    http://twentytwowords.com/2012/04/23/11-ways-you-are-thoroughly-but-interestingly-wrong/

    I read this article this morning. You hit several fallocies that make your arguement seem weak, bias, and kind of silly. Anyways at least you didnt suggest they are cheating due to thier recent recruiting success that would sound way too familiar to the Cards fans I work with.

    Keep writing, you’ve had better posts.



  14. G
    9:29 am April 24, 2012 Permalink


  15. Anthony Davis Armpit
    9:30 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Let’s see…..Beaches and fine bikinis or horses. Where would you go? Seriously though, most big schools have a great recruiting class every couple of years. It just so happens we have had 4 in a row :). I don’t think Howland will be able to get them to play together as a team that will be able to go deep in March.



  16. Azubuike's Bicep
    9:31 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    6- It has nothing to do with our “Blue tinted glasses.” And quite frankly, the UCLA jersey DOESN’T have the luster it once did. The same way that the UK jersey lost it’s luster in the latter stages of Tubby and BCG. The point that is being made is that they have gotten these guys immediately following a scandal at their school. That, compounded by the fact that the “beautiful” campus that you reference hasn’t sold any kid to play there in years. And you can’t count Kevin Love because he was a UCLA fan his entire life. You don’t think that something doesnt seem right about that?



  17. Roland
    9:33 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t forget Hollywood as a possible draw.



  18. average fan
    9:33 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Sometimes schools get hot and pick up a good class. It is the ebb and flow of recruiting and the college game. Believe it or not some kids just like other schools than Kentucky. It doesn’t matter. Howland sucks as a coach and they may be good next year but it won’t last.



  19. Purple Nurple
    9:35 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    where is Anthony Bennett?



  20. let'emhaveit
    9:36 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    i am interested to see another coach deal with the expectations since the bar has been raised by Cal to show that you can in fact win a title with youth …



  21. Catfaninrockytop
    9:38 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Good article!



  22. UGK
    9:39 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Money on the dresser, drive a Compressor…



  23. Rockfield,KY
    9:39 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    They’re gonna be kings at UCLA, they want that West Coast lifestyle, and they won’t have the structured days like they would at our program. Were I not a UK fan, I’d completely understand them wanting to go there. They just don’t realize how little exposure they’ll get unless they go undefeated or make a deep tourney run. If they don’t want to come here, I don’t give a $hit about them.



  24. Southern Illinois Cat Fan
    9:39 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Tony Parker is so big I think he didn’t think he could make it through one of Cal’s “conditioning sessions” and I agree with him. Dude needs to drop about 30+ or at least try to turn some of it to muscle.



  25. Houston Wildcat
    9:40 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    I agree with #7. This post sounds like it’s coming from an Indiana or Louisville site after we run the table in recruiting. “They must be cheating” get’s old when it’s about us, so let’s give them the benefit of the doubt that they went there because their buddy was there, the beaches, the women, etc. I have been a Kentucky fan all my life but these guys don’t know what either school did 20 years ago. If I was some recruit who didn’t care about tradition I’d probably take a long hard look at schools like USC and UCLA. Who wouldn’t want to catch a Lakers or Clippers game, stop by a Dodgers game?



  26. bmt22033
    9:41 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Ben Howland’s career at UCLA depended on him bringing in a class like this. I won’t pretend to know how they managed it, but getting the class signed is probably the least of his worries. The bigger challenge facing Howland now is taking these five star recruits who are all used to being “the man” and getting them to check their egos at the door for the overall betterment of the team. Shabazz obviously has the talent and I won’t lie and say I didn’t want to see him end up at UK. But right now, he is definitely still all about getting his 25 – 30 shots per game. I’ve not seen much of Kyle Anderson, but from what little I *have* seen, he’s not much different. Calipari has a lot of experience in getting elite young players to forego their own personal highlight reels and come together as a team. Ben Howland has less than a year to make that happen with this class and he doesn’t have nearly the experience that Cal does.



  27. Kim Darby stole my lephrecaun
    9:41 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Why, in the hell, is everybody so upset about this Parker kid signing with UCLA? He’s a fat, lazy kid with a bad attitude. I have seen him play plenty of times, three times in person. This kid has a mighty two inch vertical leap. Because he’s so fat. Below the rim. Won’t even run the floor. That’s why WE QUIT RECRUITING HIM. He “dropped” us from his list, sure, because WE QUIT RECRUITING HIM. Renardo Sydney 2.0. Write it down. UCLA does NOTHING next season, because ALL of their kids are selfish. Team turmoil waiting to happen. Seriously, folks, it’s no big deal. None of these kids are a miss. Shabazz is, from a talent standpoint, but his baggage and needing 30 shots a game hurt the total package. The folks over at Wildcat Nation are acting like we missed on a top taregt, or something. WRONG. Geez. Move along. Nothing here to get excited about, really.



  28. Rockfield,KY
    9:41 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    And please stop it with the implications that UCLA is paying them. Although Gilbert and Wooden were paying everybody in the 60’s and 70’s, those days are gone and it just sounds pathetic and like soemthing UL, IU, UNC, Duke, UT, etc. fans would say about us.



  29. bung
    9:43 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    its cause they remodeled instead of moving…



  30. Jake
    9:44 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    This post and its posters are pissing me off. What is wrong with you People. Shabazz was always a ucla lean. West coast guy, Addidas, ucla does have 11 championships, for a guy that grew up there pauley pavillion would be a big deal. they have shabazz without him a # 7 and #26 recruit doesnt make alot of noise. My guess is that artical about drugs and drinking didnt have much effect on these players. Almost every poster on here sounds bitter and stupid, also there is no all of the sudden. Shabazz’s freshman year has been coming for about 18 years.



  31. cdc_uky
    9:45 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Momentum. They are hot/got swag/getting attention. As long as we have Cal, then we can have the occasional miss and still reload (ie Noel and Bazz). This will hurt other schools much more than us so it is a good thing. On the flip, if Cal ever leaves and UCLA keeps rolling, we will hate them like everyone hates us.



  32. G-MILL
    9:45 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Okay, definitely reaching for something to write about here. KSR give us what we want.



  33. Roland
    9:46 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    I’d want to hang out @ Walden Schmidt’s house in Santa Monica.



  34. lex Cat
    9:53 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    I lived in LA for 3 years and I would pick life in Lex over LA any time, unless you like masses of rude people, smog so bad that you can’t see the mountains right in front of you and traffic jams at 11 at night. And there is also the poilce helicotpers (no matter where you live)and homeless people everywhere. That last one is for you Ryan.



  35. D
    9:53 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    16.) I do not believe there HAS to be something wrong for this to happen; I’m sure you get upset when others think Cal has done something wrong, so lets not cast that stone. Howland has gotten a wake up call by the “scandal”, which was essentially an SI article that made noise for a couple days. Basically, the Nelson kid was just an ass. Cal has laid down the framework – you’d be misguided if you didnt think someone else would follow it. Imitation is flattery. It will make winning #9 all the more sweeter.



  36. KSR isn't what it used to be
    9:53 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    I’m normally not one to be negative, but KSR is going to hell in a hand basket. Corey Nichols is the worst, ever. Coery, PLEASE STOP. You suck. Not trying to be mean, but you really do suck. You pick the stupidist crap to write about. And then you write about it very poorly. Please quit this site, for the good of all mankind. Matt Jones, you have left the site in very bad hands. I guess Drew is now in charge, and stop and think about that for a minute.



  37. manbearpig
    10:02 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    this article forgot to mention that Ben Howland is the one coach who could screw up a wet dream. These guys are screwed



  38. manbearpig
    10:03 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    on another note is it to late to start a #freebti movement?



  39. ltothaj1
    10:04 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    9.) I totally agree, our average recruit rank is better than UCLA, and the potential of our players is greater, regardless of ranking. Alex Poythress, could very well turn out to be the best player in the bunch. He was a stud in both All-American games, and he made it look sooo easy and smooth, letting the game come to him. Shabazz is the total opposite, he forces everything, but plays VERY HARD on both ends and every possession, and I REALLY wanted him at UK, but he would not have fit in Cal’s offense unless he completely changed the way he went about playing the game. What is so great about Tony Parker? he is the next Josh Smith, with less skills. Josh Smith could have potentially been Jared Sullinger, but he didn’t have the desire to lose the weight and put in the work, and I see the same in Parker…or maybe UCLA isn’t giving Smith the advice he needs to be great, either way it hasn’t worked out. I remember one of the ESPN Recruiting Analysts tweeting about Parker giving ZERO effort during McDonalds game practices, and that he looked like he didn’t wanna be there, and you couldn’t really tell he was there during the games. I don’t know alot about Willie Cauley-Stein, but just by looking at his size, and seeing his energy level, his potential is through the roof, he could be Nerlens 2.0 a couple years from now. From what I can tell, he is a better than avg. shot blocker, with great hands, he can start the break and runs the floor really well. After a few months with Kenny Payne getting stronger, and working on boxing out, he could be a nice contributor on the boards and defensively NEXT year. Anyway, I’m rambling now, but to me, blue tinted glasses or not, UK has the better class, and it’s not the hard of a decision.



  40. Shaffer
    10:04 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t care if they have the “#1 class”. Honestly I am not impressed with Tony Parker at all. I was hoping that we backed off his recruitment. He looks fat and out of shape. Going to be interesting to see how they get “up & down” like Bazz likes with the other two recruits who appear to be running in mud. (BTW I think Anderson is good, just not as good as some of these recruiting services think).



  41. DumbArticle
    10:06 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Why do we feel the need to bad mouth whenever another school has success? And then yell “sour grapes” when other fan bases do it to us? UCLA has tradition. Great program. Great perks. Don’t forget, Howland went to what … 3 straight Final Fours not that long ago.

    Here’s what I think is interesting … UCLA still isn’t ranked in the Top 5 or all that close for next year. Why? My gut says that UK would be Top 5 with that class + returning players. What that tells me is the mad respect Cal has as a coach.



  42. Mkgistebow
    10:06 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Howland went to 3 straight final 4s. Ucla has a lot of tradition. Homeland has put some really good pros into the league at multiple positions (love, Westbrook, holiday). Homeland hired tiny Parker’s Aau coach (Atlanta celtics) last yr to open up a recruiting pipeline between la and Georgia (Jordan Adams and tp are both Atlanta kids). Bazz is Adidas and wanted to stay close to home. This class is easily explained. Calm down Corey. Do some actual research before you write an article. We need Bennett.



  43. Mkgistebow
    10:07 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    *howland



  44. Alex
    10:10 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    If you are making fun of UCLA’s academics, you should have researched your article a little better.



  45. FallsOnDefEars
    10:13 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    25) There is really no difference between IU, UL, and UK fan bases. The things other fan bases say about UK now are the same things UK fans were saying about UNC and Memphis before Cal came along.

    Don’t remember who said it, but if you think tradition matters at all in recruiting anymore, you are simply kidding yourself. It’s all about the coaches these days. These days recruits commit to coaches, not universities. UK has top 3 tradition as far as college bball goes. If tradition mattered Tubby and BCG have had no problems recruiting.

    Also, I agree with 36. This site is really going downhill. Is being a UK fan the only criteria for being able to write on KSR? Better step up the recruiting Matt!



  46. Aaron Craft's Rosacea
    10:19 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    It takes more than excellent players to start racking up wins. I have serious doubts on Howland’s ability to utilize all of the young potential that he has and get UCLA to rise to prominence again. I’m still feeling the sting from him stealing Shabazz. My guess is that this year is a flash in the pan since Shabazz/Anderson really wanted to play together.



  47. FallsOnDefEars
    10:24 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    44) I meant to mention that in my post as well. The only thing I can think of is that he was saying that recruits don’t care about academics. But if is saying UCLA’s academics aren’t as good as UK’s, then he obviously is way off.



  48. Bazzesmomandad
    10:30 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    These other guys went there because we talked our boy into going there. It’s what we wanted him to do to relive our glory days. These guys know each other from the all star games and they want to party with the lakers. Bazz can make that happen. Parker can lay on the beach and drink Yeager. Sure he will get fatter and slower but he will be good for two or three solid three minute stretches. Then he can sit on the bench and text the girls he met on the beach the day before. Meanwhile Poythress will be making a name for himself in Lexington. Ha ha. There ain’t no beaches in Lexy. Jokes on you guys.



  49. BillGar
    10:30 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about. I think the point of the article was “UCLA is a different type of program than UK”. Well, isn’t it? Howland lets his boys be boys. Cal makes his boys act like men. That kind of discipline isn’t for everyone at age 18. I don’t see anywhere in the article where Corey says one way is worse than the other. They’re different types of programs that land different types of players. Personally, I think Shabazz wants 20 shots a game. Thats his style, that’s not Kentucky. Fair enough. Everything we’ve heard all year is how hard UK’s players are pushed. Maybe that’s intimidating to those boys. That doesn’t make them bad kids. Corey never says they were paid, never says anyone cheated. No sour grapes here. Just pointing out some of the reasons other players choose other schools. Corey, nothing wrong with your post.



  50. hilljack
    10:30 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    when did Cal become known for working players hard?



  51. hilljack
    10:31 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    You guys forgetting Cuz and his attitude? Jones and the car wreck? Cal had a great group this year. I hope it continues.



  52. TooGood
    10:34 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Why all the hate? Good for UCLA. Maybe we will be fortunate enough to meet them in the tourney.



  53. jls
    10:48 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Corey’s posts remind me a little of UCLA basketball. There just isn’t a whole lot of hard work there. Every time I read a post from Corey, I get the feeling he sat down 10 minutes before this post (it is NOT an article … nor is this journalism) throws something together, and then goes to drink a 40. Its just lazy. There is no research. There is not much effort. Heck … I don’t see much pride in the follow product. See … just like UCLA basketball.

    Howland barely hung on to his job. You could make a good argument that after the last couple of years he should have been fired. UCLA has always gotten good talent because of where they are (and we can talk about past payoffs if you want). I just don’t see these players meshing with Howland’s style. I predict a train wreck coming down the line. Hey … that sounds like a Corey post.

    We have come full circle.



  54. REAL BLY
    10:49 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    UCLA just got hot at the right time….. as they say ” Even monkeys fall from trees! ”

    Doesn’t happen often and has no rhyme or reason……



  55. jls
    10:54 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    49 … UCLA is different than UK? Sure. We buy that. But it is more fun to play for UCLA than for UK? Please. That is insulting … and wrong. Ask Nelson how much fun he is having now. Asking the UCLA players how much fun it is to miss the tourney the last couple of years. Ask them how much fun it is hoping your team will break 50 points tonight, and playing in front of half-full arenas. Watching the two teams play this past year, I saw a lot of “fun” in UK. It is also fun within the context of working hard, playing together, and be successful. UCLA failed.

    If Corey thinks drinking, smoking, watching your career go down the toilet, and failing is “fun” then so be it. That approach will get one far in life. Then it will be “fun” to be unemployed, strung out, broke, and pissing with your buds about how much “fun” you had when you were a kid.



  56. Ryan
    11:18 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Hey corey, u suck dude. Why are u still here.



  57. BillGar
    11:19 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    55 – Of course winning is fun. UCLA will win. A lot. Shabazz Mohammed will singlehandedly see to that. However, winning in Cal’s way is a lot harder. That has to be intimidating. Those kids will go to UCLA, win a lot of games, and live the high life in LA. This UCLA team will not miss the tourney. This UCLA team is talented enough to win games and bring in fans. That will all happen, but without the eternal spotlight of UK and Cal. Its not fair to say that the only way to have fun is to drink, smoke, and watch your career go down the toilet. It can be very fun to play, and win, on a smaller stage than UK, in a location with a lot more distractions. That doesn’t mean those kids won’t be successful.



  58. LACat
    11:19 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    UK grad who lives in LA now. The only thing people in LA care about is the Lakers, the Lakers, sometimes the Dodgers, and the Lakers. EVERYONE I’ve talked to about college sports always says the same thing UCLA is the best basketball program ever…which I respond name a player on the team? They can’t. No one can talk about college sports other than USC football. Lexington is great for recruits because people actually know and care about them.

    Shabazz, Parker, and Anderson want shots and primetime west coast TV (which is a joke as well)
    Howland wanted to keep his job.

    I just state the SEC dominance and they make a hillbilly joke cause it’s all they have and I laugh.

    Went to a UCLA game this year (they are renovating Pauley) the fan support is an absolute joke; few students, alumni, and no buzz whatsoever. I AM a biased fan but it’s really really embarassing.

    I wear UK shirts everytime I go out just hoping for a reaction



  59. Jg
    11:21 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Not every recruit is going to choose UK… UCLA has a lot to offer and just a few years back they were in 3 consecutive final fours. They had some hard luck in the last couple seasons but prior to that they were bringing in top talent (Love, Westbrook, Holiday, etc). I love UK but there are other destinations a recruit can go and be successful. UCLA has a major media market in one of the most desirable cities to live. In other words it doesn’t take a scandal to bring top talent to LA…

    And I am as big a uk fan as there is but we aren’t the best in every athlete’s mind.



  60. jls
    11:29 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    58 … UCLA hasn’t been successful the last two years. They have been beyond pitiful. Given the level of talent they have had, they have to be the most disappointing team in all of college basketball.

    And the point of my post was in response to Corey’s amazingly poor post about all the “fun” UCLA players have been having.



  61. SweetWm
    11:29 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    I get the feeling there are to many teenagers writing on this forum….who cares about ratings. We have great talent here and coming in, so LET’S win some games. After a few games this team is gonna be very good.



  62. SAN
    11:38 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    9) Not to mention we have 3 – 5 star recruits to their 2.



  63. Stanley Roberts
    11:41 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    62 – To many teenagers writing on this site? Why don’t you read what you wrote.



  64. the Big Dog
    11:53 am April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Hard to figure how a guy who should have been fired suddenly is turning his program into a recruiting Mecca. NIT, drug parties, fights during practice- makes you wonder if Sam Gilbert is really still alive to do the recruiting for Howland. Parker is a huge add for UCLA. He is a below the rim player, but was very effective in the Jodan Classic. Hopefully, they will self implode like last year. This make Bennett critical.



  65. Rudy
    12:06 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Bring by BTI, you suck Corey.



  66. Mkgistebow
    12:15 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Wow an appeal for bti…no comment…LMFAO



  67. Rock Slyde
    12:28 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Give Corey credit. The last couple of posts are a minor improvement. They’re still elementary.



  68. symphonist41169
    1:02 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    What a terrible post. I completely disagree 68, his posts are getting worse instead of improving. If you can’t think of anything good to write a bout then DON’T WRITE. Waste of time reading his meaningless posts.



  69. UKBlue
    1:17 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    The ATM money printing machine is running overtime in LA. From someone who lived in LA, people in LA could give 2 shits about UCLA basketball. The majority of people don’t even know UCLA has a team; they know the Lakers, have no clue about UCLA. UCLA falls apart, has the SI article come out, the coach should have been fired, and now out of absolutely no where UCLA starts landing kids & becomes the #2 recruiting class. It’s called dolla dolla bills yo



  70. DerbyDemon
    4:08 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    I find it wishful thinking that people believe UCLA has had a better recruiting class than UK–or even fall at a #2 recruiting class. We’ll see who goes deep in the tournament next year…



  71. BazzesMomandDad
    4:13 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Wah way wah!!! You fans are crying about your loss but we will get to feed Little Tony at our house while talking about the good ole days. My boy and Little Tony can look at the pictures we have from when UCLA was great and eat cookies. Little Tony can cheer on Bazz while he shoots as many shots as he can in forty minutes in our backyard workouts, while we all eat ice cream. We’re gonna put some meat on Little Tonys bones and get him ready for the season. We wanna make sure he don’t steal any of our boys shots.



  72. Duke six
    4:29 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    #6 You are 100% right most of these posters need to take their blue glasses off.UCLA is the only school to have right to argue the top program with us. We know UK is the best but 11 championships puts you in the conversation .Howland whent to 2 final games not to long ago.He won pittsburg and he is a goog coach.Kansas had out recruited him lately and he topped them this year.Its not like these players came from the east coast there happened to be talent on the West this year.Ucla will have a good year but ours will be better.



  73. jls
    7:00 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    73 … EVERYONE knows that UCLA’s championships were paid for … and one of the greatest travesties in all of college sports is that they got away with it, and get to keep their trophies.

    Also Howland completely lost control of that program and should be fired. How UCLA as avoided probation is beyond me.



  74. Nini
    9:55 pm April 26, 2012 Permalink

    This is a horribly written article. These are all assumptions that you cannot back up. What proof do you have that ANY of the UCLA commits dont want to work hard? The fact that you suggest that is ridiculous. Every recruiting “expert” (Evan Daniels, Dave Telep, etc.) will tell you that Shabazz Muhammad is probably the hardest working player in the class. Just an ignorant article all around.