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Posts Tagged ‘Nikolai Dragovic’

Dragovic returns…

Posted by naterb on November 29, 2009

I believe I’ve already made it clear how poor UCLA’s start is, and after UCLA’s 47-74 drubbing at the hands of Portland things looked even worse. Then the following night, the Bruins showed signs of life by pushing Butler to the final minute.  So what’s with the Jekyll & Hyde act that the Bruins only wins are against Cal State-Bakersfield and Pepperdine? Simply put, it’s the senior leadership they receive from Nikolai Dragovic.

Dragovic anchors a ridiculously young team that has too much potential and not enough experience to make a whole lot of noise this season. Unfortunately, the Bruins have floundered without Dragovic in the lineup. Which is why Howland brought Dragovic back despite the investigation into his October altercation being incomplete – a decision I completely disagree with for the sake of the integrity of the team. Sure, Dragovic scored 14 and led the Bruins against Butler, and will recapture his starting role in the near future. But in an age of college basketball that has more controversy than not, is it really worth it for the Bruins to risk it simply for a few wins until their freshman can catch up, especially when other schools are seeing investigations of this nature through before making decisions?

Howland is making a huge mistake. Dragovic has already been accused once, but his live-in girlfriend opted not to pursue charges. And while the rumor is that Dragovic was the victim, and not the attacker in the most recent incident, it doesn’t change the fact that Dragovic wasn’t smart enough to just walk away, report it to security, or take numerous other avenues. Garland Judkins was effectively suspended for the year under Russ Pennell for the same type of decision.

It’s a shame really, that Howland after cherrishing so much success over the past few years is utterly incapable of enduring a few weeks or even a whole season without compromising the integrity of the program.

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