What started out with three straight trips to the Final Four is now continuing its downward spiral. Ben Howland‘s coaching tenure at UCLA has been mostly an experience in futility. With yet another player bailing on him and yet another horrendous loss on his Bruin record, one has to wonder how long until Howland is transferred out of town.
Yesterday Howland experienced two more losses. First the loss of Tyler Lamb as he was given his release to transfer. Lamb, a 6-foot-5 junior, started 32 games for the Bruins last season but underwent surgery to repair cartilage in his knee just before this season. Then last night Howland helped coach his Bruins out of an 18 point lead and into a 2 point loss to Cal Poly, who was preseason picked to finish seventh in the BIG WEST. Not the BIG 10 or BIG 12 or the BIG EAST, the BIG WEST. Add that to Howland’s list of bad losses.
Also add Lamb to the list of quality players that have left his program. This list includes, Matt Carlino (starting guard for BYU, 12 ppg), Chase Stanback (leading scorer for UNLV last year), Mike Moser (one of the best rebounders in the nation) and Drew Gordon (averaged a double-double at New Mexico for two years). UCLA coach Ben Howland said Lamb spoke to him on Friday and decided to transfer because he “just didn’t feel like he could get the minutes that he wants.” Lamb was second on the Bruins last season with 43 3-pointers. UCLA could have used that shooting touch last night as it made one field goal in the final three minutes.
Sure Howland has brought in great talent, but that talent leaves to enjoy success elsewhere. Meanwhile he continues to prove that his offensive style can keep even some of the most talented scorers mediocre. How long will UCLA fans and administration watch as this program is turned into a laughing stock?