Aug 20, 2012, 3:16 PM EDT
With a trip to China looming, UCLA coach Ben Howland told Mike DeCourcy that the 6-10 junior hasn’t gotten in shape. Again.
“I’m disappointed where he’s at, that he’s not further along with his conditioning,” Howland told SN. “That’s just being honest, being truthful.”
This marks the third consecutive season in which Smith – always seen as a talented player – has failed to turn himself into a potentially dominant force down low. But this offseason must sting a bit more than the previous two years given Smith told reporters at the end of June that he’d lost at least 15 pounds since season’s end.
Maybe that just means he was heavier than anyone thought in March.
Or maybe it’s Howland, flush with the most talent he’s had in Westwood since 2008, trying to motivate his big man into continuing to work on his body before the season. That seems more likely given the Bruins won’t have star freshman Shabazz Muhammad for the trip (the NCAA is still investigating his eligibility).
My advice? Have Smith try some exotic cuisine. A stomach bug is a guaranteed weight loss method.
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
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