Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Howland Deserves The Credit

Time to throw him a few accolades, to concede that the turnaround Howland promised when he first took the job is well underway.

To give credit and recognize that Howland appears exactly the coach UCLA expected when athletic director Dan Guerrero brought him to Westwood from Pittsburgh three years ago.

"It would be hard for us to find another coach across the country that has done as remarkable a job as Ben to date," Guerrero said.

"More remarkable in my opinion than overcoming the injuries is we're successful with very young guys. Ben gives credit to the high school coaches, but more credit has to go to Ben and his coaching staff and how they've been able to keep these kids focused and composed, keep them believing in what he thinks are the essential ingredients to success."

Those ingredients are becoming increasingly clear. Tough team defense. Unselfish play. Toughness. Fundamentals. Hitting the boards. Preparation.

"He's our backbone," said sophomore guard Aaron Afflalo. "Besides the things he can't do literally on the floor, you have to give him credit for everything else. He prepares in a way that sets us up for success." L.A. Daily News

(photo credit: AP)


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