Coach Ben Howland gives us a behind the scenes look at the UCLA program. A lot of good program notes about expectations, Kevin Love, his philosophies on defense, passing, and keeping things simple. Since Howland has been at UCLA, they have been one of the best defensive teams in the NCAA. How they are able to play such hard-nosed M2M defense is part recruiting, but most of it comes from Howland's tough love approach. He demands a lot from his players and it certainly shows. Watch the video below and then you can read my thoughts below.

I really like this video, coach Howland appears to be a hard-nosed aggressive guy and that is how his players play. Some more random thoughts about the interview,

- Expectations, back-to-back final fours, and expected to go again this year, I like how Coach Howland talks about playing with a "bullseye" and liking that pressure as he states, "Playing your very best every night to win".

- Being the team that everyone wants to beat. I like how he lets his players know that its going to be tough, especially being UCLA. Keeping players hungry, every team they play will be chomping at the bit to beat them.

- Keep things simple. Like his defense, it's a simple M2M, no fancy schemes. But he emphasizes the little things like keeping your hands active, staying aggressive, pressure.

- Great passers. Probably what separates Kevin Love from other big guys is his ability to make that outlet pass. A great outlet passer can be the difference between a good fast-break team and a great fast-break team.

A great video that emphasizes many of the same things that Coach Howland does for M2M defense is Geno Auriemma's new DVD on his four cornerstones for half-court offense. I have notes from a Ben Howland clinic so be sure to check them out at the X's and O's Basketball Forum to download them.