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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

March 30, 2008 at 10:48 AM

Meet the new boss. …

With much of the Pac-10 landscape potentially changing — is Tony Bennett really thinking of leaving? — one thing remains the same — UCLA is the king of all it surveys in the conference.
By getting to its third Final Four in a row, UCLA is staking a claim as the most dominant Pac-10 program since, well, the vintage UCLA teams of John Wooden.
The Bruins have won three straight regular season titles, two of three conference tournament titles, and have advanced deeper into the post-season than any other conference team each of those years.
With three straight Final Fours, UCLA has as many Final Four appearances as the rest of the league combined since 1997 (Arizona two, Stanford one).
The Bruins also salvage what has to be considered a more-disappointing-than-hoped conference run in the NCAA Tournament.
Sure, three teams made it to the Sweet 16. But conference teams really looked bad at times in a year when the Pac-10 billed itself as the best conference in the country.
The five Pac-10 teams that bowed out of the tournament all lost their games by at least seven points, and an average of 14.2. No what-could-have-beens there. Conference teams appeared to reach their ceiling, and it wasn’t as high as everyone thought it might be.
And there seems little reason to think anything is going to change at the top anytime soon.
With half of the coaching jobs in the conference in some kind of flux, UCLA’s isn’t one of them — Ben Howland is probably a lifer in Westwood.
And while the Bruins will suffer some significant personnel losses (just how significant won’t be known until the underclassmen declare) they are also bringing in what Scout.com ranks as the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.
The only thing Howland hasn’t been able to do in his time in Westwood is win in Seattle — he is 1-4 against the Huskies at Hec Ed.
ON TO THE LINKS:
—- All your Tony Bennett needs can be met here at the Spokesman-Review’s Cougar blog, which figures to be updated throughout the day. I’ll single out a column by our Bud Withers who states his case for why Bennett may stay.
Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle has a good look at all the potential change in the Bay Area.
The Chronicle also has this story on how different Stanford may look next season if both of the Lopez Twins head for the NBA, which is an increasing possibility.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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