Posted by Pac on March 03, 2018 at 20:55:26:
UCLA was ousted from the Pac tournament in the last seconds by Oregon. UCLA's heralded #1 class will graduate with no Pac championship, no Pac tournament title and no players has become an All American. The last two years, they were picked to finish first and last year they finished fourth and this year in a statistical tie for third. That's very sad and unfortunate.
Close will not be fired. She's well liked by her superiors and significantly, attendance is up at Pauley. Now, the higher attendance is also because of visiting teams like UConn and Baylor but for a non-revenue sport, it becomes a talking point. She's a good administrator, runs a clean program and is well liked by just about everyone. But she is a very mediocre coach and has problems leading and developing a program.
If UCLA really makes a commitment to womens basketball, they should tell Close that she needs to hire an associate head coach. One who is good with basic x's and o's and also strong with recruiting the Southland. It appears this staff has given up locally because their reputation has taken a hit because of their underachieving. Also, one who is not afraid to play Bad Cop to Close's Good Cop.
With the graduation of Canada, Billings and Hayes, UCLA will be in for a rough couple of years because they will no longer be able to rely on the athleticism and inherent talent of her #1 class. After this season, talent wise, UCLA is definitely a program in decline. If UCLA simply extends her contract and things continue the way they have been, UCLA may expect to be in 6th or 7th spot of their conference, if not further down. Recruiting has also been definitely down last year and Close has not shown she can consistently develop players without a top rating.
Close has gotten her team to this point but based on her performance thus far, it's highly unlikely she can lead the Bruins to be a genuine Elite team. I think she could do good work at a mid major but right now, she's proven herself to be unqualified to thought of in the Top Tier of coaches.
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