UCLA Basketball: 10 Things You Need to Know About Ben Howland's Bruins in 2011

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UCLA Basketball: 10 Things You Need to Know About Ben Howland's Bruins in 2011
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

This is a piece for the uninitiated, for those ignorant of the frustrating, taunting and false-hope implying institution that is UCLA basketball.

Travel with me, you untainted few, to Westwood, a small area of Los Angeles where inspiring college basketball has yet to surface in 2011-12. Instead of the championship caliber team most Bruin fans expect on a yearly basis, we are left with a band of misfits and junior college transfers that loses to the likes of Loyola Marymount and Middle Tennessee State. 

Ever since the Kevin Love-led Bruins were eliminated from the Final Four for the third straight year in 2008, UCLA has yet to sniff the upper echelons of college basketball’s marquee tournament. Top recruits have either under-preformed or left the school entirely, leaving Ben Howland’s Bruins with serious talent issues year after year. 

2011-12 doesn’t seem so far like the year Howland envisioned his Bruins having after a valiant exit for the tournament in a second-round loss to Florida (again). UCLA is off to its worst start in decades, and with commitment issues compounding their lack of skill at almost every position, the Bruins don't seem in line for a dramatic change. 

When I finally emerged from the despair-induced fetal position UCLA left me in after their stunning 69-59 collapse against Texas, I decided to take to the Internet in search of innocent college basketball fans who I could corrupt with the shocking ugliness of UCLA basketball.

Don’t forget your galoshes and industrial-strength steel wool; none of us will emerge from this explanation clean. 

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