UCLA Fires Ben Howland

Can’t say we didn’t see this one coming. After recruiting one of the best incoming freshmen classes in UCLA’s history, which was also regarded as the top recruiting class of the nation in 2012 (a group that included Shabazz Muhammad, Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams and Tony Parker), head coach Ben Howland was unable to live up to expectations and it has now cost him his job. From the Los Angeles Times: “Ben Howland, who led UCLA to three Final Fours, was fired Sunday, the school announced, ending the longest tenure for a Bruins coach since John Wooden retired in 1975. Howland spent 10 seasons in Westwood, finishing with a 233-107 record. He is coming off one of his best coaching performances, with the Bruins winning the Pac-12 Conference regular-season championship. Yet his star had fallen considerably since he took UCLA to consecutive Final Fours in 2006, ’07 and ’08. He was informed Sunday that he was fired. UCLA needed to go deep into the NCAA tournament to save Howland’s job. The Bruins were bounced by Minnesota, 83-63, in their first game Friday. “We went into the season with high aspirations of winning the conference championship and making a run in the tournament,” Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said. “We were successful at the former, but not the latter.”