Friday, March 9, 2012
3-point shot: Howland's status at UCLA
By Andy Katz
1. UCLA might not be a high postseason selection. So now that the Bruins are out, athletic director Dan Guerrero must either make a commitment to Ben Howland or move on after the season. He left Howland’s situation too open-ended last week. He needs to make a declarative statement, the way Pat Haden did at USC, telling the Los Angeles Times that Kevin O’Neill will be back. If Howland is going to return, Guerrero must make that clear.
2. Decisions should be made soon at Illinois and Nebraska. Bruce Weber is fully expecting there to be a change, but he’ll pocket $3.9 million. Doc Sadler isn’t so sure — but he would earn $3.4 million if he’s cut loose. It’s not even close as to which Big Ten job is better. Both schools have resources, but Illinois is always committed to hoops. Weber and Sadler are both well-liked by their peers and didn’t suddenly become poor coaches. Expect both to be gobbled up quickly in some form or fashion (head or assistant coaches) if they are officially ousted. Weber is almost a certainty but it’s too hard to have a read on Sadler at this juncture.
3. The pained expression on Bill Carmody’s face Thursday after the overtime loss to Minnesota spoke volumes about his tenure at Northwestern. Carmody has been so close to getting an NCAA bid, but yet so far. The Wildcats have had plenty of chances to win key games, but consistently fail. There really are no excuses, no one to blame and no one to debate. Northwestern hasn’t been snubbed. It has had a multitude of opportunities to get a bid but simply hasn't closed when needed. The drought will continue. This is actually worse than the Cubs, since the odds should favor Northwestern getting an NCAA bid over the Cubs winning the World Series.