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The next big name on UCLA's list

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08:09 AM ET 03.28 | Of course VCU coach Shaka Smart was atop UCLA fans' collective wish list, but he's out. [Smart] and VCU have agreed in principle to a deal to keep the coach at the school, it was reported on Wednesday. In an Associated Press story, VCU athletic director Ed McLaughlin says the details are still being finalized, but the majority of changes involve "program enhancements for the student-athletes and coaches." ... [With] news of Smart returning to VCU, the Bruins' list of possibilities will, more than likely, be one name shorter. Expect Butler's Brad Stevens to be the next big name -- aside from Louisville's Rick Pitino and Florida's Billy Donovan -- tossed around in conversation about UCLA's coaching search.

The Orange County Register

Rick Pitino, Getty Images Rick Pitino, Getty Images
March 28, 2013  08:48 AM ET

Why would Billy D be interested? He has a great gig now at a school that loves him.


Besides, UCLA would be really pizszed when Billy signs with them, then 3 days later changes his mind, rips the contract up and comes back to Gville...

March 28, 2013  09:11 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Why would Billy D be interested? He has a great gig now at a school that loves him.Besides, UCLA would be really pizszed when Billy signs with them, then 3 days later changes his mind, rips the contract up and comes back to Gville...

Deja vu!

March 28, 2013  09:35 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Why would Billy D be interested? He has a great gig now at a school that loves him.Besides, UCLA would be really pizszed when Billy signs with them, then 3 days later changes his mind, rips the contract up and comes back to Gville...

Darth Foley had a conversation with Mrs D about dirty coach chasing **** in Orlando. I am sure it would work with LA too.

March 28, 2013  09:53 AM ET

I think the problem at UCLA is they don't understand how unique the "Wooden Era" is in sports history. It will probably never be repeated. Find yourself a good coach that can make you competitive, and stick with him. No one is going to win it all every year. Be happy being one of the annual contenders.

March 28, 2013  09:53 AM ET

Darth does a great job of not letting the successful UF coaches get wooed to other schools, protects the UF programs from being seen as stepping-stones in practically ANY sport.

March 28, 2013  10:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Darth does a great job of not letting the successful UF coaches get wooed to other schools, protects the UF programs from being seen as stepping-stones in practically ANY sport.

I think it helps that the coaches don't have to play the other schools are interested in me card to get a raise.

However, Muschamp got a extension/raise after a 7-6 season. If Mus went 7-6 again, head spike wall

March 28, 2013  10:55 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I think the problem at UCLA is they don't understand how unique the "Wooden Era" is in sports history. It will probably never be repeated. Find yourself a good coach that can make you competitive, and stick with him. No one is going to win it all every year. Be happy being one of the annual contenders.

Hard to get away today with the things that UCLA and Wooden got away with back in the day.

March 28, 2013  11:05 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Hard to get away today with the things that UCLA and Wooden got away with back in the day.

What does that mean??? Please explain!!!!!! :-)

March 28, 2013  11:13 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Hard to get away today with the things that UCLA and Wooden got away with back in the day.

I'm don't know what that means either. About the only thing they "got away" with that I can see was the NCAAs were truly regionals back then and the Bruins got a relatively easier draw into the finals each year. And some U's were still practicing segregation and didn't compete for players like Alcindor. UCLA earned those titles and the NCAA had to catch up.

March 28, 2013  11:21 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

I'm don't know what that means either. About the only thing they "got away" with that I can see was the NCAAs were truly regionals back then and the Bruins got a relatively easier draw into the finals each year. And some U's were still practicing segregation and didn't compete for players like Alcindor. UCLA earned those titles and the NCAA had to catch up.

Good comment and I totally agree.

March 28, 2013  11:24 AM ET

UCLA will strike out with all those names. Donovan has been at Florida way too long to leave. Pitino has a good thing going on at Kentucky. Brad Stevens isn't leaving Butler either.

Dearborn Sparty has the right idea: identify a coach that will keep the Bruins competitive and stick with him. The Bruins don't exactly need to go after the high profile guy. Just the right guy.

Comment #12 has been removed
March 28, 2013  11:58 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

I'm don't know what that means either. About the only thing they "got away" with that I can see was the NCAAs were truly regionals back then and the Bruins got a relatively easier draw into the finals each year. And some U's were still practicing segregation and didn't compete for players like Alcindor. UCLA earned those titles and the NCAA had to catch up.

The "Wooden Era" was "helped" along by a booster named Sam Gilbert... Jerry Tarkanian at Long Beach State and UNLV, reknowned for benefiting from similar aid and constantly in trouble with the NCAA for same issues, once remarked that the only basketball team with a higher payroll than UCLA was the Lakers... It has been widely reported, little acknowledged, and anyone who thinks that Alcindor or Wicks or Lowe or anyone else sporting new clothes, eating out or driving new cars did so because of their parents largesse or pushing brooms in the gym is a fool... Wooden knew, and he turned a blind eye, and justified it to himself and others by saying that everyone was doing it... Which was largely true, but the NCAA lacked the moral courage to call out Wooden while singling out folk like Tark cause he and his teams were a little poorer, a lot rougher, and not so clean cut...

March 28, 2013  12:06 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

The "Wooden Era" was "helped" along by a booster named Sam Gilbert... Jerry Tarkanian at Long Beach State and UNLV, reknowned for benefiting from similar aid and constantly in trouble with the NCAA for same issues, once remarked that the only basketball team with a higher payroll than UCLA was the Lakers... It has been widely reported, little acknowledged, and anyone who thinks that Alcindor or Wicks or Lowe or anyone else sporting new clothes, eating out or driving new cars did so because of their parents largesse or pushing brooms in the gym is a fool... Wooden knew, and he turned a blind eye, and justified it to himself and others by saying that everyone was doing it... Which was largely true, but the NCAA lacked the moral courage to call out Wooden while singling out folk like Tark cause he and his teams were a little poorer, a lot rougher, and not so clean cut...

Come on dude!!! Your comment doesn't "hold any water"!!!! There was nothing happening back in the Wooden days, that is not happening today at schools, like Kentucky, Louisville and Miami!!!!

March 28, 2013  12:08 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

The UCLA job is 20 times better than the USC job. Just hire a great recruiter as that is 85% of college basketball. Groce at Illinois would be great but probably not going to leave. Steve Alford just signed a 10 year bury me contract in nowhere land with new Mexico. Want a recruiter who cannot coach a lick? Look at Mick "The Leprechaun" Cronin at Cincinnati? With Cincinnati being excluded from all major conferences the Midget elf Cronin would leave for UCLA immediately? BUt would UCLA want a little joke on the sideline? No. Look for the Midget Cronin to approach USC.

If UCLA comes in and take John Groce, we are gonna raise an army, march over to UCLA and destroy, plunder, and plain old burn the place, and return back to Urbana with Song girls in Towe. You've been warned UCLA. DO NOT FREAKING MESS WITH ILLINOIS!!!!

P.S. We are still sicking pins into Bill Selfish's voodoo doll

Comment #16 has been removed
Comment #17 has been removed
March 28, 2013  12:52 PM ET

Pitino?! Yeah Right...UCLA couldn't pay half of what he's making at Louisville. And facilities...not even close. Louisville plays before 22,000 fans every game in one of the nicest arenas in the country. Not mention Louisville charters all of it's flights, unlike UCLA, who flies Southwest to save money.

UCLA just isn't what it once was. No one cares about college ball in LA. They've got 4 million people in that city and still can't even fill up Pauley. Not to mention 3 final fours in 10 years and a conference title this year get's you a pink slip.

UCLA is going to have to find an up and comer. And it's not going to be a marquee name.

March 28, 2013  01:15 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

UCLA is going to have to find an up and comer. And it's not going to be a marquee name.

Mark Few Gonzaga.

 
March 28, 2013  01:33 PM ET

Frankly, I'd like to see UCLA rejected by every D1 coach that they contact, with many of those rejections being very public. It would be a fine thing if UCLA had to go rooting around DII or even DIII to find a coach. Alternately, it would be an alignment of the stars if they hired Isiah Thomas....

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