Mistakes plague struggling Horns
Barnes has had four freshmen (Kevin Durant, Avery Bradley, Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph) and four sophomores (LaMarcus Aldridge, Daniel Gibson, D.J. Augustin and Jordan Hamilton) leave school since 2006.
A case can be made both coaches have alumni who are better advertisements for their programs than any recent teams at those schools.
Indeed, two former players, Durant and Westbrook, led Oklahoma City to the NBA Finals last season.
Both college programs have suffered from inexperience, bad chemistry and other issues.
“That always makes it tough, not knowing for sure how long you are going to have kids in your program,” Howland said. “I definitely relate to what (Barnes) has dealt with.”
Said Barnes, “Both programs in some ways have been very similar. We have gone through a lot of the same things.”
UCLA and Texas, both 5-3, have something else in common this season: players who have missed games because of NCAA eligibility issues.
Bruins freshman swingman Shabazz Muhammad missed three games when the NCAA ruled that its amateurism policies had been violated because a financial planner whom his family considered a friend paid for unofficial recruiting visits to schools. Muhammad’s eligibility was restored on appeal.
Longhorns sophomore Myck Kabongo has missed seven games, and remains in eligibility limbo, as the NCAA slowly determines whether he accepted improper benefits from a pro agent, also an amateurism issue.
Both teams have suffered improbable defeats this season, the Longhorns to NCAA Division II Chaminade in Maui, UCLA to Cal Poly at home. Georgetown has defeated both of them, UCLA by eight and Texas by 23.
UCLA, ranked 13th in preseason based largely on a freshman recruiting class that was rated No. 1 in the country by some analysts, has stumbled out of the top 25.
Now both teams must scramble to salvage seasons that are about onequarter completed.
Both coaches have been starting three freshmen, but Howland has the advantage of better talent.
DraftExpress.com lists Muhammad as the top overall NBA pick in 2013. Another freshman, swingman Kyle Anderson, is listed as the 21st pick in 2014. Freshman guard Jordan Adams leads the team in scoring.
No Longhorns are ranked as highly by DraftExpress as Muhammad or Anderson, although Kabongo and 6-9 freshman Cameron Ridley are on the radar.
UCLA also has a more competent point guard. Though often maligned during three seasons at North Carolina, Larry Drew II has 68 assists and only 11 turnovers in eight games for the Bruins.
With Kabongo out, the Longhorns are left with Javan Felix, a freshman who ranks second in the Big 12 in assists but also in turnovers committed.
The Longhorns average 19.1 turnovers, ranking near the bottom among 345 Division I teams. They were 331st on Monday, when NCAA stats were compiled, and then produced 22 turnovers in Tuesday’s 66-41 loss to Georgetown.
Felix committed five of them. The next morning, Barnes went through the first four minutes of game tape with Felix.
“Everything we said we wanted to do was open, putting the ball inside,” Barnes said. “First play of the game, Cameron Ridley had done a great job of establishing post position. He’s wide open. Javan is looking straight at him and doesn’t throw him the ball.”
Barnes, like Howland, has been maligned as a coach of offense, yet another link between the two.
But Barnes said, “We have great concepts offensively, there’s no doubt in my mind. But players have to make those plays.” NEW YORK — Baseball’s average salary increased 3.8 percent this year to a record $3.2 million.
According to final figures released Friday by the Major League Baseball Players Association, the rise was the steepest since 2007. The boost was helped by an increase in the minimum salary from $414,000 to $480,000.
The New York Yankees had the highest average for the 14th consecutive season at $6.88 million, rising after consecutive declines from a peak of $7.66 million when they won the World Series in 2009.
The Los Angeles Dodgers rose from 13th to second at $5.55 million and Texas from 15th to fifth at $4.89 million.
At nearly $685,000 Houston had the lowest average since the 2006 Florida Marlins.
Cubs: Chicago finalized a $9.5 million, two-year contract with Japanese pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa.
The 32-year-old righthander had 220 saves in 12 seasons with the Hanshin Tigers of Japan’s Central League.
■ Third baseman Ian Stewart (.201, five HRs,