Eddie House says it’s ‘ridiculous’ to blame UCLA’s disappointing season on LiAngelo Ball

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Eddie House and Doug Gottlieb join Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock to discuss who is to blame for UCLA's disappointing season in 2018.

- Whitlock, who do you blame for this disappointing season, Steve Alford the coach or the Ball family?

- I blame the Ball family to be quite honest with you. LiAngelo Ball screwed this whole season up over in China. And when his credit card got declined, and he went to being Mr. Sticky Fingers, and those kids followed in behind him, that jacked the whole season, ruined their depth. You know, those other two freshmen could play. And LiAngelo would have been a great practice player for them. It screwed up the entire season.

- So you're telling me, UCLA's program, they don't even offer St. Bonaventure kids. They have a legit upperclassmen seven-footer, a top-five high school player on the wing, an NBA guard, and they can't beat St. Bonaventure. That's on LaVar Ball?

- NCAA tournament, it happens all the time. Upsets happen.

- I actually think that LaVar Ball is the greatest gift that Steve Alford could ever have. I mean, look, Lonzo Ball saved his job.


- Saved his job. If you remember, before Lonzo Ball arrived on campus--



- What? No.


- Hold on. But before Lonzo got onto campus, the summer before, they were flying banners. They wanted to fire Steve Alford. And Steve Alford had to give back the last year of his contract just to keep his job. Then they make an NCAA tournament run. And then the LiAngelo thing actually helps us create an excuse for the fact that Steve Alford didn't do a great job.

JASON WHITLOCK: It's a reason, not an excuse.

- It's an excuse.

JASON WHITLOCK: It's a reason.

- Because if you watched the game last night, they have a lead by 5 points in the last couple of minutes.

JASON WHITLOCK: I watched the game.

- And they--

EDDIE HOUSE: They made no end-game adjustments, at all.

- None. They--

EDDIE HOUSE: Bonaventure's is a man-to-man team all year long. And then they come out in the zone. They prepare for a man to man. And they came out in the zone, and they have no answer. You have to have a plan B. You have to have counters. You can't just have Aaron Holiday come up, jack up shots, try to get in the middle of the lane to get the big fellows, and try to find people.

- See, to me, it's a young team. I've seen teams get caught. All season, I've seen teams get caught with their pants down.

EDDIE HOUSE: Get out-coached.

- Listen, I agree with you there in that last night. But I've seen teams have this happen to them. I wish more teams would mix in some zone because it happens repeatedly. Teams aren't prepared for it because it's so much harder to have continuity, particularly at these top programs with the players coming in and out like this. It's hard to have kids that are prepared for that.

EDDIE HOUSE: Let me answer the question.


- Let me answer the question. I think it's ridiculous to think that the Ball family is responsible for this because there was Jaylen Hill. There's the Hill family, right? They were in trouble just as well. Cody Riley, that's the Riley family. They're just as well in trouble just like LiAngelo was.

I blame it on two reasons why they had a disappointing season. The bad, the university didn't chaperone these guys and did not educate them on the international laws, let them know that, hey, man, you can't be out here messing around. You've got to have proper chaperones for these kids.


- You do have-- they're still young kids.


- --not to steal.

- No, not to shoplift. But if you have a chaperone, you're prone not to shoplift. OK? So I blame the university on that. And then I blame Steve Alford for, again, not making any adjustments last night. And he expected to have these three guys.

So he prepared to his season with these guys. And they're gone. And he made no adjustment. He kept doing the same exact things that he thought he was going to do in the preseason and thought it was going to be able to work in the regular season in conference. And it just wasn't, made no adjustments.

- But that kind of proves my point. I agree with you, the adjustments last night. I agree with you on switching defense. Because remember, they played a zone the first half. He had all of halftime to figure a plan. And it wasn't much. They just made some shots and turned over a little less. And St. Bonaventure's not a bad team.

But here's the point you're kind of making for me. Yes, they lost three bench players. That hurt their depth. If you go back to every time UCLA would lose a game, he'd go like, look, we just don't have any depth. You know, Aaron Holiday turns the basketball over--

JASON WHITLOCK: Built-in excuse.

- --he's just tired. We don't have any depth. And it goes back to-- and, yes, the other two families are on some level responsible. But the only reason it's a story is because it's--


- --LaVar Ball. So I actually think this is a gift for Steve Alford because if it wasn't for LaVar Ball, if it wasn't for the shoplifting, people would be paying more attention to just what a disaster.

COLIN COWHERD: This is a good point.

- They're down a point. He calls time out. And they come out. And what did they discuss, dinner plans?

EDDIE HOUSE: I don't know what they did. That was terrible.

- And Aaron Holiday, his junior starting point guard who should be up for the point guard, he was not in the Point Guard the Year Award. But he was First Team All-Conference, who has two brothers who play in the NBA, turns the basketball over for the 10th time in a game.

JASON WHITLOCK: Should have had 12. Should have had 12.

- Should have.

- It wasn't because Holiday--

- But his point is a good point though.

- Alford got a mulligan.

- The Ball family has offered-- saved his job the first time and is a really convenient excuse now.

- It's a convenient reason. But I like to pick.