Howland: Getting Players

We’ve got scores and scores of old partial entreis, and quotes, and tidbits saved in our drafts section that have become dated. But, I think that there is some definite value in blogging a lot of these things so that a record of them exists.

Today, I just wanted to share a quote from UCLA Head Basketball Coach, Ben Howland; whom I think is easily one of the ten best coaches in America. The quote comes from an old ESPN article last year (I lost the link).

Howland says, “The thing that consistently works is getting really good players. I’m a lot better coach when I have great players. I wish it was the first or second year. But it takes two years of recruiting classes.”

ESPN: And that’s it. You think he’s just kidding around. You think he’s just being modest. But time and time and time again, through questions about his defensive philosophy and his offensive philosophy, through media sessions in San Diego and Los Angeles, on the phone and in person, the 48-year-old head coach consistently returns to that lone explanation for how he’s been able to do what he’s done.

Luckily for NC State, Howland is a great recruiter at a great program. This played a role in Roy Williams and Carolina not recently adding to their ridiculous recruiting haul with the commitment of Kevin Love, the nation’s #2 rated high school player.

Of course, it is surprising to some of the less savy Wolfpack fans that Love would choose to play at UCLA. You know…UCLA….whose “bad” fans “ran away” a likeable coach who had success at UCLA that anyone would welcome. (Link). I am just shocked that anyone would want to coach for them after the behavior of their horrible fans! (sarcasm)

7 Seasons
6 NCAA Bids
5 Sweet 16’s
1 Elite 8
1 First Round Exit

About StateFans

'StateFansNation' is the shared profile used by any/all of the dozen or so authors that contribute to the blog. You may not always agree with us, but you will have little doubt about where we stand on most issues. Please follow us on Twitter and FaceBook

Basketball Recruiting General NCS Basketball Quotes of Note

52 Responses to Howland: Getting Players

  1. lush 02/23/2007 at 12:33 PM #

    Umm Cedar where are you buddy? Any insightful comments? Doubt it.

  2. CedarGroveWolf 02/23/2007 at 12:42 PM #

    ‘Umm Cedar where are you buddy? Any insightful comments? Doubt it”

    hey lush, you seen me bash the hiring of Sid? Doubt it.

    see the quote that it takes great players to win. how many of ours do you see playing in the NBA?

  3. pakfanistan 02/23/2007 at 12:46 PM #

    Wilkins, Harrington, Powell, Hodge (temporarily), Simmons.

    Others that had the potential include Bennerman and Brackman.

    So, what were you saying again?

  4. CedarGroveWolf 02/23/2007 at 1:02 PM #

    we had those players for their frosh/soph seasons when they were good, not great. a championship team needs NBA-ready players that go from their college team straight to playing in the NBA.

  5. CrankyCookie 02/23/2007 at 1:05 PM #

    Speaking of Bennerman, whatever happened to him?

  6. legacyman 02/23/2007 at 1:08 PM #

    How many of our players in 1983 were NBA ready? Only Thurl lasted any time in the pros. A good to great coach can take medium talent and win big…can you spell Valvano? Norm Sloan had one NBA ready player in DT but his supporting cast was very good although not NBA types and 1973 and 1974 happened. Les Robinson, under severe hardships, was able to take average talent and beat deano 5 out of 12 times.

    The former coach had enough good talent to win many games but he just wasn’t good enough to do it and part of that was his lack of experience when we foolishly hired him. He should thank us for bankrolling his ten year learning experience and so should ASU.

  7. CedarGroveWolf 02/23/2007 at 1:17 PM #

    Not many (if any) of the last 10-15 NCAA championship teams had little or no NBA-ready talent.

  8. StateFans 02/23/2007 at 1:23 PM #


    Let it go.

    It’s old. And you are bringing down the intellect level of the blog.

  9. tractor57 02/23/2007 at 1:34 PM #

    As to players playing in the NBA – damned few of Sendeck’s recruits. With the Wilkins mess I really thought it was Damien and his “hothead” relatives who were being unrealistic – now my view had changed with the passage of time and seeing other events.
    Your point about recruiting talent is a valid one but you also have to take that raw talent and elevate it. Coaching at the major college level is recruiting, teaching, motivating and many other things. Sendeck did many of those things (especially in the early years) but he got to a level and stayed there). Lowe may exceed that level (chances look good) and he also has the side benefit of bringing a connection to the basketball heritage (not just because he was a player but he welcomes past players while Sendeck seemed to push them away – maybe he didn’t but it sure looked that way to me).
    I submit that Lowe has a very good chance of taking the program to a higher level than Sendeck could or would. Personally I thank Sendeck for the good he did early in his tenure but I don’t forget that the program basically stalled after year 5.
    No I’m not one of the HSSS club but I’m not a rabid Sendeck hater either – I just felt his time had come.

  10. MatSci94 02/23/2007 at 1:37 PM #

    Talented players does not equal NBA players. Duke consistently has very talented players, but very few of them have had any luck in the NBA.

  11. CedarGroveWolf 02/23/2007 at 1:47 PM #

    “And you are bringing down the intellect level of the blog”

    what is this jewel doing?

    “Duke consistently has very talented players, but very few of them have had any luck in the NBA.”
    I think Duke has 13 players in the NBA.

  12. Mr O 02/23/2007 at 1:52 PM #

    I am not sure that I follow the point of this entry.

    Howland is at his 2nd Adidas stop(first being Pittsburgh). He should do well at UCLA with the potential pipeline of recruits that will want to come and be fed to UCLA. Some people believe Steve Lavin to be a very bad coach, so if you assume that is true, then a great coach should be making the Final Four regularly.

    At UCLA, it might only take two recruiting classes(a lack of recruits has never, ever been a problem at UCLA). But at other programs, it might take several more to produce the desired results.

  13. Mr O 02/23/2007 at 1:57 PM #

    Duke has a lot of good NBA players. Not sure if any other program except for UNC has more right now.

    I have said from day one that Coach Lowe’s success will ultimately be determined on the recruiting trail. So far so good. The really important recruits so far are IMO Julius Mays and CJ Williams because these guys were offered and then verbaled early in the recruiting process. Neither guy was a consensus top player in their class at the time of their commitment. How well these guys do in the ACC will give us some insight into our current staffs’ ability to evaluate talent.

  14. CedarGroveWolf 02/23/2007 at 1:59 PM #

    O, I think Duke has 13 while unc has 12.

  15. the_phisherman 02/23/2007 at 2:13 PM #

    But how many of those actually won the Championship?

  16. CedarGroveWolf 02/23/2007 at 2:15 PM #

    a lot of those duke NBA players won NCAA championships

  17. Mr O 02/23/2007 at 2:15 PM #

    I am not making these statements to respond to anyone’s post on this thread, just random information if you will…

    IIRC, Md was the first team to win the title without a McD AA(don’t think Wilcox was a McD AA). Gary Williams won that title with three kids who stayed four years and were 1st round draft picks and then another kid who was a top 5 pick after his freshman year.

    So he won it, generally speaking, without top rated recruits, but he didn’t win it without NBA talent.

  18. Rochester 02/23/2007 at 2:19 PM #

    I believe Connecticut has the most current players in the NBA of any school.

  19. beowolf 02/23/2007 at 2:59 PM #

  20. ChemE79a 02/23/2007 at 3:00 PM #

    I hate to see State fans make this mistake, but Burleson was very NBA ready. He was the number 3 pick in the draft and was averaging double figures his first few years on a playoff team (Seattle). He also made the all-rookie team. During his first season at KC he tried to breakup a confrontation between Phil Ford and Mo Cheeks, which unfortunately led to bodies falling and his knee being injured. He was never the same afterwards, although he did stay in the league a few more years.

    DT was an outstanding player, but without Tommy during DT’s senior year the team failed to secure either of the two NCAA bids that were available that year. As everyone has agreed, it takes talent. Lots of it.

  21. VaWolf82 02/23/2007 at 3:09 PM #

    Strange, but I don’t find that choice a difficult one to make….though obviously others do.

  22. ncsubch2000 02/23/2007 at 3:13 PM #

    “Talented players does not equal NBA players. Duke consistently has very talented players, but very few of them have had any luck in the NBA.”

    I agree with this in that Duke has not produced (m)any all-star/superstar types, while, for example, UNC, Kentucky… have (Ex. MJ vs. Laettner). In order to win in college, you need players that have the skills/physical requirements to win, in college. These skills/physical requirements are not always valuable to the NBA, or a player will be missing key skills/physical requirements needed to make it in the NBA. Duke, for the most part, has shown this.

    In addition, with the one year requirement, the very top players will likely not stay more than 1 year, so recruiting slightly lower (not top 100, but top 10-50) and having players for 3-4 years, with the occasional superstar sprinkled in, is a good strategy, IMO.

  23. Rochester 02/23/2007 at 3:18 PM #

    ^Hodge is a great example. He was excellent in college, but can’t hook on in the NBA. Even before the shooting he couldn’t break through.

  24. lush 02/23/2007 at 3:29 PM #

    cedar, so your saying that herb didnt do a good job brining in talent, didnt do a good job developing the talent, and didnt win championships because he didnt have NBA talent.

    dont you see a problem here??

  25. lush 02/23/2007 at 3:38 PM #

    if the reason that howland is a good coach is that he has great players, then does that mean if you cant get “NBA ready” players, and you cant develop “NBA ready” players, then your not a good coach?

    wouldnt that mean that cedar’s golden boy isnt a good coach??

Leave a Reply