Howland Strikes Quickly At UCLA

Ben Howland is already making his presence felt at UCLA. Top guard prospect Arron Afflalo said that had it not been for Howland's dogged pursuit of him, he would have wound up out of state.

Bruins, Howland Land First Commitment

It doesn't take good coaches long to get things rolling but this is fast by any standard. Recently, Arron Afflalo, one of the top shooting guards out west and in the nation, committed to UCLA.

"You know, it wasn't really planned," Afflalo said. "I planned on not signing or committing until November. It was a great opportunity and I couldn't let it pass. It was kind of early, but that's the way it happens."

Afflalo said he basically had no intentions of going to UCLA until the coaching change took place. "UCLA was recruiting me but not very hard and the chances of me going there weren't that high. I was really looking at other schools out of state at that point. When Coach Howland got the job it really changed my focus about them."

UCLA's gain is Oregon, Kansas, Louisville and DePaul's loss. Afflalo said that he liked each of those schools and was considering them strongly.

Instead, he's Howland's first recruit in Westwood. "It's a great honor. I really do appreciate it. I don't even know what else to say about it. I want to make sure I don't disappoint anybody and live up to all of it. I plan to be a major aspect of them getting back on track."

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