There may be nothing less surprising in college basketball right now than finding out that a player on the UCLA roster is not enjoying his time in Westwood.
Over the last couple of years, you wouldn’t be alone if you wondered whether the talent that has left Ben Howland’s program could beat the players that are still on his roster. Drew Gordon, Mike Moser, Chace Stanback, Matt Carlino, Tyler Lamb, Josh Smith, Reeves Nelson. If only Kendell Williams had actually enrolled, that team could probably have won the Pac-12 last season.
There always seems to be something going on with the Bruins, and the latest concern seems to be a couple of cryptic that were sent out by freshman center Tony Parker this week:
[tweet https://twitter.com/tonyparker32/status/282987874918477824 align=’center’]
[tweet https://twitter.com/tonyparker32/status/283635223068024832 align=’center’]
Now, this is nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to freshmen that aren’t playing a lot of minutes during the holidays. If you were a college athlete and your season wasn’t going anywhere near as well as you had hoped and you were forced to spend Christmas on the opposite coast away from your family, I’m sure you would probably be down.
But since UCLA is dealing with those transfer issues, those tweets became a story that had to be reported. Jeff Eisenberg did the leg work:
Reached by phone Thursday afternoon, Miller Grove High School coach Sherman White acknowledged Parker is “not happy about not playing” but described that as a healthy response and insisted the freshman doesn’t intend to transfer. Ben Howland said on a teleconference with reporters Wednesday afternoon that Parker has asked for more playing time, but the UCLA coach told him only to “keep working hard” and “keep competing.”
“He’s just behind the guys that are playing ahead of him right now, which are the two Wear twins and Kyle Anderson who’s playing more and more minutes at the four,” Howland said. “But he’s going to play in every game, and he’s actually had two good practices in a row.”
This is when you know things are getting bad for UCLA. A kid tweets about being homesick on Christmas and the interwebs have to track down whether or not that means he’s really considering transferring.
I doubt that’s a position a college coach wants to find themselves in.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.