THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER
One of the hottest stories coming out of Los Angeles is that Dan Guerrero, the new Athletic Director at UCLA, will terminate Hollywood Steve Lavin in the near future. One scenario has Assistant Coach, Jim Saia, stepping in while a national search is started. Another scenario has a former well-known Bruin player taking the interim position.
There has been smoke and smog surrounding the basketball program for a while now. Lavin has not brought the talent and wins to Westwood that the LA crowd wants. He has been continually criticized for anything from recruiting, to game coaching, to the way he styles his hair.
Some of those in the know on the coast feel that this will be the first losing squad at UCLA in 55 years. The recent loss to the Michigan Wolverines at Pauley Pavilion exacerbated the problem. Michigan, which start three first year players came in on a four game, win streak after dropping their first six. The Maize and Blue walked away with the W and the sports editorials rained like a thunderstorm. The last time the Bruins had a losing men's season was the 1947- 1948 season. Since then, the Bruins have finished at 500 or better for 54 consecutive years. Just check back in the history book and note that Harry. S. was the United States President at that time.
Let's presume that Guerrero pulls the trigger in the near future. He appoints a caretaker and looks for the best available coach for the situation. The two top choices in my mind would be Pitt's Ben Howland and Gonzaga's Mark Few. Both have strong west coast connections and will be able to bring in the talent. Each is a disciplinarian and will be able to tighten up the reins on the incumbent players. Howland though he has a new facility will soon have a new AD.
Steve Pedersen the former Pittsburgh AD is off to his alma mater, The University of Nebraska, to assume their head position. If I were Howland, I check it out and if the offer was favorable, just take it. This would not be a lateral move but a move to a fabled program that is looking to revitalize and UCLA is still definitely one of the top 10 jobs in the nation.
The holiday season brought more than good tidings and cheer; it brought in a group of names for the Class of 2004. Holiday tournaments abound and recruiters were on the road and the rumor mills began to heat up. So who is hot and who is not. What names are being tossed about into the possible Rutgers holiday stocking?
Rutgers looked to the Island for this potential point guard, A. J. Price. This is a kid that had not been linked to Rutgers prior to the holiday season. Before this kid graduates someone will give him the nickname of the Amityville Horror.
This Amityville guard is a horror for anyone that tries to play him head up. He won the match up as a sophomore against LeBron James. Granted that Jason Fraser was the go to guy on that time, Anthony still had a heck of a game. He is more of a combination guard at this point but looks to have all the skills needed to be a big time scoring point. He is also one of those kids that is willing to get down and dirty.
Rutgers is definitely joining the long line of schools that are checking him out. This 6 foot 170 pound bundle of energy is strong for his size and really sees the entire court. Anthony can take you to the hole, stop and pop or dish it for a deuce. He is one tough guard. He just may have the best stroke on Long Island. Anthony call me A. J. is getting Big Time looks.
According to Insider's man on the scene, Dave Telep, Rutgers Assistants took in the Bloomfield Tech games in Lewes, Delaware. Da Shaum Dwight and Courtney Nelson are two names that should already be familiar to Rutgers fans. Both of these guys have been at the RAC. They are both prolific scorers. They are both about 6'1' and have quick feet. Dwight is more of a two and Courtney is a scoring point. Nelson is presently the more highly recruited and has garnered looks from several Big East teams.
Mike and The Big Dog LLC