February 11, 2004

Where Are They Now?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chas @ 7:06 pm

Pitt has until Sunday before they play again. This means there needs to be some filler articles. The Trib goes back to the 1995 Pitt recruiting class. Mark Blount lives. Blount came out after his sophomore season in ’97. He was drafted #55 by the Sonics but was cut in training camp. He has bounced around in the NBA benches and USBL. He is now starting at center for the Celtics.

Interesting to look at the box at the bottom of the article to see what the other members of that recruiting class are doing today.

Over at the P-G, it’s a long article about former coach Ben Howland’s first year at UCLA. I still can’t forgive him for the way he bolted last year. Not that he bolted, but how he did it.

The day after Pitt lost to Marquette in the third round of the NCAA tournament, Howland had a friend contact Guerrero [UCLA’s Athletic Director].

“I knew right away what I wanted to do, which was to pursue this opportunity,” the coach said.

That isn’t merely “listening,” that is blatant pursuit. The body wasn’t even cold yet. And going back, this Sunday to talk to his former players hardly makes it right. Goddammit, at least be nice enough to lie and say that you listened to the offer, talked to your family and decided that it was the best decision for everyone. Don’t stick it to your former team by saying, in effect, “I couldn’t wait to lose in the NCAA tourney so I could jump to a better job.”

That said, I do not get this kind of pettiness and erasing

Consider a giant framed picture in the Pitt basketball office, showing players, coaches and team personnel celebrating last year’s Big East tournament championship in New York. The picture was edited to cut Howland, the architect, out of the photo.

That omission is reflective of some of the bitter feelings that still exist at Pitt, where some university officials were angered over Howland’s hasty and secretive departure to UCLA.

That’s crap. Though, according to the article, Pitt had spent a number of years pretending Paul Evans didn’t really exist — and Pitt fired him.

[…] Yes, Howland did a lot of good at Pitt. He helped — along with the new building and an aggressive AD — change the culture around Pitt basketball. That doesn’t change that he created some hard feelings with the way he left. […]

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