Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Howland Inks New 7-Year Agreement With UCLA

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA head men’s basketball coach Ben Howland and the University have agreed on a new seven-year contract, athletic director Dan Guerrero announced today. The new contract, which runs through the 2014-15 season, includes guaranteed compensation of $1.97 million for the 2008-09 season and escalates to $2.3 million for the 2014-15 season. It also includes the incentive package from his previous contract that has a maximum value of $235,000.

In 2007-08, UCLA set a school record for victories en route to a mark of 35-4 and a third consecutive Final Four appearance. Since the NCAA Tournament bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985, UCLA is one of just four schools to earn three straight Final Four berths (Michigan State in 1999-01 was the last to do so). UCLA has also won three straight Pac-10 titles, making Howland the first Bruin coach since John Wooden to win three straight league championships, and two of the last three Pac-10 Post-Season Tournaments.

Howland is also one of just three coaches in the history of college basketball to win at least 30 games in three consecutive seasons. He has also produced four NBA first-round draft choices in the last three seasons, including the fourth and fifth selections in the 2008 draft.

“Ben Howland and UCLA are a great combination,” said Guerrero. “Ben is at the top of his profession and is deserving of this commitment by the University. He has returned UCLA to the nation’s elite, as illustrated by three straight Finals Fours and three consecutive 30-win seasons. He is an outstanding recruiter, and the foundation Ben has built for our program promises to keep us at the forefront for the foreseeable future.”

“I have said this before, but there is no place I would rather be coaching than UCLA,” said Howland, 51. “I grew up a Bruin basketball fan and this is my dream job. We have great young men in our program, both on and off the field, and they are the real reasons for our success. UCLA is a special name in college basketball thanks to Coach Wooden and I am proud to be the caretaker of his program. I am also grateful to Chancellor (Gene) Block and Dan for the faith they continue to show in me.”

[UCLA Press Release]

(photo credit: AP)


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (6/30)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


J'Mison Morgan attended his first class at UCLA, meaning he is officially enrolled in school. Morgan was released from his letter of intent with LSU and signed scholarship papers with UCLA but those weren't binding until he attended his first class. LA Daily News 6/24


A senior-to-be at Fairfax (Los Angeles), Renardo Sidney, has attended three high schools in three years. In 2006, his parents, Renardo Sr. and Patricia, uprooted the family's Delta stakes in Jackson, Miss., for Lakewood, Calif., enrolling their son at Artesia High before transferring to Fairfax last summer. Sidney, who says the family migrated west to market both his basketball skills and his 17-year-old sister Tiarra's modeling career, expects to whittle away his list of potential college landing spots while shrinking his waist. "I'm trying to work on some package deals," says Sidney, who includes Louisville, Texas, USC, UCLA, Kansas, Florida and Texas A&M as his top suitors. "Antonio Bigelow, Kawad [Leonard], Eric [Swoopes], Lance [Stephenson], and Jordan [Hamilton] are all guys I'd like to play with." Sports Illustrated 6/24

Tyler Honeycutt scored 29 points and grabbing 19 rebounds as Sylmar went on a 19-4 second-half run. Honeycutt burst onto the scene this spring playing extremely well at travel ball tournaments and receiving six scholarship offers. "All the guys leaving Sylmar I guess really helped me out because I can now shine more," Honeycutt said. "Now I know I'm the first option. We really wanted to win this game bad. I knew I had to do more in the second half after I saw it was tied at halftime." More is exactly what he did, scoring 16 points in the second half and continually beating Van Nuys defenders to offensive rebounds and putbacks. LA Daily News 6/24

Golden already has been credited with one assist for the 2009-10 UA basketball season. Due in no small part to his friendship with Golden, Vallejo (Calif.) Bethel High power forward Greg Smith orally committed to Lute Olson's Wildcats on Monday, making the highly touted senior-to-be the first member of the 2009 hoops recruiting class. "Robert is my boy," Smith said. "He loves it there and that was a big reason I knew it would be a place I want to go." That and the fact Smith expects to compete for more than just Pac-10 championships Tucson Citizen 6/24

Renardo Sidney spent most of Wednesday's Fairfax tournament game against La Canada shooting jump shots. He was one for nine at one point. Fairfax was able to come away with a 66-62 victory. Sidney finished with 12 points on five-of-15 shooting. Lance Bailey led Fairfax with 18 points. LA Times 6/25

Taft overwhelmed Sylmar with its defense and size. The Toreadors jumped out to a 19-6 lead after one quarter and made things difficult for everyone except Tyler Honeycutt. Honeycutt, who has sixscholarship offers on the table, including three from Pac-10 schools, had 18 points and 17 rebounds. LA Daily News 6/24

Single moms, he said, sometimes make themselves easy targets to "the parasites," self-serving coaches and advisors trying to work their way into a player's inner circle. "A lot of the moms don't really know too much about the game, or the sport, and they think, 'Wow. Here's a positive male role model for my kid,' and they hand them over," he said. "Sometimes, if you show a little bit of interest, they say, 'Take him. He's yours." Xavier Henry has seen those kids, too, and feels fortunate to have his family engaged in his decisions. The 6-6 swingman from Oklahoma City attended the camp for the second time this season, even though a cracked bone in his ankle prevented him from playing hard. "I don't listen to anybody else other than my family," he said. "Just my immediate family, too, not branching out to all my cousins that I supposedly have." He chuckled at the ridiculousness, but has seen others who weren't as savvy. "You can tell when kids have an entourage or just somebody that's the main man or something like that," he said. "They're trying to get something out of them." USA Today 6/25

Jeremy Tyler, a 6-foot-9 forward from San Diego, has the highest ceiling of any of the prospects in the country at this stage. He also might be one of the toughest players to read. Immensely talented, Tyler can split the middle with outstanding performances and dubious duds on the grand stage. "To be honest, we are still waiting for someone to establish himself as the top prospect in the class," national basketball recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer said. "Tyler has been up and down in the last year, but when he is on his game, he is a dominant player. He has a great blend of athleticism and physicality to his game. "His explosiveness around the basket and his upside are intriguing. The question is whether he can develop the mentality to produce day in and day out and to develop his game to what it could be." Rivals 6/26

Renardo Sidney, considered one of the elite players in the Class of 2009, will likely explore the possibility of going overseas as well. "Brandon's decision will definitely have an effect on the younger kids," said Sidney's father, Renardo Sidney Sr. "For us, it's definitely an option." The elder Sidney said he feels it's unfair that the NCAA earns revenue off its players, while the players get little in return. "Kids feel like they're a victim of the NCAA and I don't think anyone is happy with it," he said. "You can't have someone buy a kid a hamburger, but you can sell their jerseys and fill the arenas and it's fine." What Sidney seems to forget is that the kids do get a free education. That's worth about $50,000 per year in many places these days. But let's face it. That's irrelevant to many of these kids. Fox Sports 6/27

The Toreadors couldn't hold on to a 10-point first-half lead Friday night and suffered a 69-58 loss to Dominguez of Compton in the quarterfinals of the Nike/Fairfax tournament. Jordan Hamilton, who is appealing for a fifth year of eligibility, led Dominguez with 25 points off the bench. Thurman Woods added 17 for Dominguez, which led 30-27 at halftime. LA Daily News 6/27

After saying he was wide open throughout the recruiting process, Bishop McGuinness forward Daniel Orton named seven schools as his favorites. Kentucky leads for Orton's services followed by UConn, Ohio State, Kansas, UCLA, Texas, and Oklahoma. News Ok 6/27

Jordan Hamilton scored 31 points to help Dominguez defeat Fairfax, 66-56, Saturday night in a semifinal game of the Fairfax tournament. It was an impressive victory considering that Fairfax was finally at full strength, with Renardo Sidney and Solomon Hill both playing. LA Times 6/28

Jordan Hamilton scored 32 points to help Dominguez defeat Westchester, 85-78, in the championship game of the Fairfax tournament. Hamilton was chosen the tournament's most valuable player. He scored five consecutive points to break a 69-69 tie with slightly more than three minutes left. Jordin Mayes led Westchester with 23 points. LA Times 6/29

(photo credit: SI)