I don’t understand the big deal about UCLA knocking off top-ranked Arizona. Steve Lavin can boast of many upsets of No. 1 teams, but it’s the teams he couldn’t beat -- such as Cal State Northridge and Northern Arizona -- that proved his ultimate undoing.
Before anyone even begins to think, “Ah, maybe we ought to keep this guy,” ponder this: Where has a UCLA team, with the talent and heart to defeat the No. 1 team in the country in its most pivotal and pressure-packed game, been hiding all year? How can a team this potentially good be 10-18? The answer is coaching (and the lack of it) and Steve Lavin.
The talent is there, and always has been, but Lavin could not find a way, and was too insecure to hire an older assistant coach who might have been able to help him bring out the best in his players.
Beating “Goliath” in the form of No. 1 teams is not what the UCLA program is about. We want to be the Goliath that other schools are shooting for, not the lowly David.
We should have seen it coming. After all the reprehensible media criticism, Steve Lavin has the last laugh. Or doesn’t anyone know why that engaging smile never leaves his face? He’s simply warming up for his next job, in the NBA, where, as everyone knows, the regular season means zilch.
Palos Verdes Estates
If I’m a recruit deciding between UCLA and Duke, should I choose the school where students are kicked out for standing and cheering, or the school where students stand and cheer for the entire game, each and every game of the season?
Dan Guerrero needs to change more than the coach.