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Ben Howland Hot Seat: UCLA Basketball Coach Nearing The End?

UCLA Bruins head coach Ben Howland could be on his way out of Westwood.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Howland could be on his way out of Westwood.

It's a bit interesting that it's being considered now (especially with UCLA on a three game winning streak), but apparently donors have had enough of all the dysfunction seeping out of the Bruins basketball program. UCLA's non-conference struggles to teams like UC Irvine (who they barely survived) and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (who they didn't survive).

UCLA has had too many great players wash out of their program, only to emerge somewhere else and produce great results. Drew Gordon at New Mexico comes to mind, as does Mike Moser and Isaiah Stanback at UNLV. Josh Smith and Tyler Lamb both left the program this year, leaving the Bruins perilously thin with eight scholarship players. Despite UCLA having the number one recruiting class, it's looking less and less likely like they'll have talent necessary to go any further than one-and-done in the tournament.

The Bruins have responded well so far to the adversity. But don't expect the love to last if UCLA gets off to a bad start in Pac-12 play. UCLA has a tough home contest with Missouri, then will face all six of the NCAA tournament contenders in the conference in their first seven contests. A freefall somewhere in there could mean the end.