Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
UCLA’s Howland Will Return & Bazz’s Dad Shows Support
Ron Holmes, the father of 2012 recruit Shabazz Muhammad, issued a statement of support for UCLA coach Ben Howland following the news that Howland will return next season.
“We are happy for Coach Howland,” Holmes told SNY.tv. “I feel if given the opportunity he will get UCLA back on track.”
Asked if UCLA was still on his son’s list, Holmes said, “Yes, they are.”
The 6-foot-6 Muhammad out of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman is also considering Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, Arizona and UNLV and is expected to announce in April.
As previously reported by CBSSports.com, the NCAA is monitoring Muhammad’s recruitment because it has reason to believe he may have received improper financial benefits.
Yet none of the aforementioned schools are known to have stopped recruiting Muhammad.
An NCAA spokesman declined comment on the matter.
Howland’s return means he will be around at least one year to coach incoming recruit Kyle Anderson of St. Anthony, who hopes to play alongside Muhammad in Westwood
The 6-foot-9 Anderson is currently riding a 63-game winning streak at St. Anthony and has never lost in a Friars uniform.
The Bruins are also recruiting 6-9 forward Tony Parker of Lithonia (Ga.) Miller Grove, who played with Anderson on the Playaz Basketball Club team that won the IS8 fall championship in Queens
UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero confirmed that Howland will return as head coach despite the recent damaging Sports Illustrated story.
“As I have stated before, at the conclusion of each sport’s season, a program and its coaches are evaluated,” Guerrero said in a statement. “That evaluation includes a comprehensive review of the performance of the team, including its competitive success and its continued commitment to academics, but where other aspects related to the overall management of the program are also considered.
“I had several discussions with Head Coach Ben Howland before deciding on what was best for the future of UCLA Basketball. Subsequent to these conversations, and in consultation with Chancellor Block, I have made the decision that the UCLA men’s basketball program will remain under Coach Howland’s leadership and direction.
“Obviously, we are aware of the recent criticisms of our men’s basketball program; Ben understands full well that the management and oversight of the program needs improvement. He has assured me that, going forward, both the character and performance among our student-athletes will reflect the University’s values and the basketball program’s storied tradition. I believe that his overall record and performance proves he is more than capable of delivering on these assurances.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.