Time for Bruins to think outside the box

Now that VCU head coach Shaka Smart has turned down the opportunity to take same position at UCLA, it is time for athletic director Dan Guerrero to look in another direction all together. Instead of “Plan B” let’s just skip to “Plan X”. I am sure guys like Mark Gottfried and Jay Wright are excellent coaches, but is that really the direction you take after firing Ben Howland. What makes Jay Wright or Mark Gottfried any more dynamic than Ben Howland? I thought the plan was to bring someone in who can win big and bring excitement to the fan base?


How about reaching out to a Jeff Van Gundy, Van Gundy would be a good teacher of the game with NBA experience that would definitely outside the box - MVGget highly touted recruits attention and enough of name recognition for even the casual fan to be aware of him. Van Gundy as a lead analyst on ABC and ESPN has shown humor and acute knowledge of the game during the telecasts. We know the press conferences would not be boring, with his self deprecating style and one liner would keep the media, boosters, and alumni at bay during rough patches. Van Gundy with a NBA pedigree could put a staff together that would be the envy of anyone in the country as well as coach players up who were 2 and 3 stars to become viable pieces and get highly touted recruits ready for the next level. Van Gundy has made money, so this would not be money grab for him and also he could do what he loves to do, which is teach the game. Van Gundy on a court at a practice is where he is at home


I understand it is an unconventional way of going about the coaching change. Ideally they guys who are titans of college basketball are not looking at the program as the dream job that it used to be. So UCLA could definitely go the “Plan B” route and see who was second on their list or UCLA can blow the list up and look for someone who would be completely off the radar when it comes to college basketball.




Follow me on Twitter @VCarter_RC2CS


11 thoughts on “Time for Bruins to think outside the box

  1. No Shaka?!?!
    That dude wants to stay at 2nd rate program, go right ahead. UCLA needs a guy who can evaluate talent and keep local talent at home.
    Go Bruins!

    • I think Smart would have been an excellent choice. UCLA has to go back to the drawing board. Dan Guerrero has his work cut out for him. Ben Howland needed to go but you can’t just replace Howland with just another guy.

  2. How superficial can you get? You don’t even know the clown’s first name.

    No to “Mike”.

    It’s over, btw. Kareem will be named the next head coach by the weekend. The greatest Ucla star teaching John Wooden 101. Who else would be enthusiastic about walking into our litle hornet’s nest? A., a guy who would not be treated to stinging comments for 7 placid months.

    ~ Ucla ’72

    • Thank you the edit was done.
      Big oooops on my part.
      Do you think Kareem will bring the level back to UCLA? More importantly, can he reach the young kids of today?

      Thank you for your comment.

      • You’re welcome, and please pardon my anal retentiveness. I have little patience.

        Kareem’s abilities as coach would be as mysterious as Jim Mora’s were until a game is played. He could surprise like Mora and be good-to-great, or he could flop. I have no doubt he can reach kids—for one thing, they would know his achievments and respect them. The fact the coach with 6 NBA rings and the main responsbility on the court for 3 of the banners flying overhead in Pauley also TOWERS above his players is a bit of a plus. Whether he would or not get them to do what he tells them is again unknown. He certainly can teach the Wear kids how and when to dunk, which Howland never did!

        But the reason his approval by Guerrero is a potential slam-dunk is that Ucla comes with a lot of difficulties for any coach, especially on the basketball side. Most don’t want the opportunity. Begging good coaches to come who then publicly say No gets old quick, and opens the door for a less-than stellar pick to be greeted with anger from us alums. OTOH, here’s Kareem, coming out just like Mora did, lobbying for the job publicly, which means he has the enthusiasm required to put the work in to get the job done, the job being for starters, gulp, a 12th banner. PLUS he’s Kareem, a veritable basketball God in LA for two great “franchises”. The goodwill that would come with him would overwhem any questions Guerrero blew it, even if he did, by hiring Kareem. That relieves Guerrero of all pitfalls in his choice; if Kareem flops, he can be fired. But no one would blame Guerrero for trying this out. Meantime, WHO can teach and bring back Wooden’s ways to Ucla better than Kareem????? This becomes a no-brainer the more you think about it.

        Kareem as a recrutier might be beyond-fabulous, especially for the parents who saw him play and know all he means. He certainly would continue to overwhelm the other university in town as THE place in town where the best coaches in both sports teach. Standing ovations would greet Kareem at every function; legendary head coaches from other schools would want his autograph and picture with him. I see Kareem as the next Ucla coach as a win-win-win-win and then worry about the play. But even then, Kareem has the gravitas to surround himself with Ucla alumni who excel in adding something to the “class”, as informal coaches.

        The benefits to Kareem becoming the head coach do not stop. At least for the next 7 months.

      • You have sold me on Kareem as long as Korey McCray stays on and Kareem can get one more solid assistant coach who knows the college landscape.

        May utilize some of your points in my next post?

      • Anything i wrote—as an alumnus, representing alumni friends as well—is yours.

        I can’t comment about the relative merits of Korey McCray, pls fill me in, but there should be no doubt Kareem would have to have at least one assistant of great value to the program. Thank you ~

      • Korey McCray was the new assistant and recruiting coordinator that brought in Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams, and Tony Parker. As a recruiter he would be instrumental to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar.
        McCray has ties to Atlanta and the south so getting kids on a national landscape for a storied program like UCLA definitely wants to keep a national footprint.
        Hopefully if this opportunity is viable and Kareem gets the job, he needs to keep Zach LaVine and Al Freeman, the two guards that Howland recruited.
        It’s imperative that Parker, Adams, Anderson, and the incoming freshman stay at UCLA.

      • Personally, i’m sure Kareem would keep and make an effort if neccessary to sell every signed recruit on his administration of the program. I’m also sure he would not only want to keep McCray bringin’ em in, but add other scouts from around the country, especially his old stomping grounds of NYC, while concentrating on LA, which seems to have been abandoned by Howland—another of many reasons he had to go.

        As you know, tho, no new coach can guarantee the old coach’s recruits stay. That’s up to them. If they’re quality players and fill required niches—Howland was notorious for recruiting 10 guys of near-equal height none of whom were either great shooters or prolific scorers—sure, they shoud stay. You’ll have to take that up with Kareem next time you see him, assuming Guerrero doesn’t have bleep for brains and signs a lesser, more questionable light we alums will not like. I’m hopeful this process will follow Mora’s: Coaches with big names and perfect niches refuse the offer; Howland gets weary with the process about a week in; he accepts the only applaicant who’s dying to take the job.

        Guerrero is a useless nuisance. Unfortunately, if he signs Kareem, soon, i have faith Kareem will do so well with the program he’ll make Guerrero look good, when Guerrero deserves none of it.

  3. Corrections: 3 lines up from bottom of 2nd ‘graph, ‘Howland’ should read ‘GUERRERO’. Fogive me my typos, i rush too much.

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