Ben Howland denied a report Saturday night that he had been told he was out as UCLA's basketball coach. Howland said he had not yet spoken...
LOS ANGELES — Ben Howland denied a report Saturday night that he had been told he was out as UCLA’s basketball coach.
Howland said he had not yet spoken to athletic director Dan Guerrero, who in the past has handled such personnel moves personally.
It is expected that Howland will be replaced, but Yahoo! Sports reported that he had already been notified.
“Contrary to multiple media reports this evening, UCLA has not fired men’s basketball coach Ben Howland,” said UCLA athletics spokesman Nick Ammazzalorso.
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Howland has a 233-107 record in 10 seasons at UCLA. He took the Bruins to three Final Fours and won four conference championships.
Howland’s contract, which has two years remaining, includes a $2.3 million buyout.
UCLA officials will focus on Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart and Butler coach Brad Stevens, a person close to the athletic department said. UCLA will also consider an ex-NBA coach, the person said.
Virginia Commonwealth and Butler were eliminated from the NCAA tournament Saturday.
Changes were expected in the wake of the Bruins’ 83-63 loss to Minnesota in the NCAA tournament Friday. UCLA won the Pac-12 regular-season title and finished 25-10, but that was not considered enough for Howland to be retained.
Freshman Shabazz Muhammad is expected to declare for the NBA draft. Kyle Anderson and Tony Parker are pondering their futures.
At Alabama 66, Stanford 54
Levi Randolph scored 16 points and Retin Obasohan had a career-high 14 to lead Alabama over Stanford in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.
The Crimson Tide (23-12) will play Maryland on Tuesday night in the quarterfinals, hoping for its second trip to Madison Square Garden in three years.
The Cardinal (19-15), last year’s NIT champion, twice closed to four points in the second half but went 4:40 without a field goal late. Stanford managed a season low in points and was held below 60 in both NIT games, including a 58-57 win over Stephen F. Austin.
Chasson Randle led Stanford with 11 points while Robbie Lemons had 10.
• Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon signed a 10-year contract that could keep him with the Panthers well into the next decade. The deal comes after speculation surfaced USC was targeting Dixon, a Southern California native, for its open job. Dixon is 262-86 in 10 years at Pitt.