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Strange days, indeed, for Howland

Updated: December 21, 2009, 2:56 PM ET
By Ramona Shelburne | ESPN Los Angeles

He has been here before: the losing, the booing, the whispers as soon as he leaves the room.

But this place is usually the beginning. The bottom rung of a new ladder he has been hired to climb, not seven years in and not after one of the most successful three-season runs in modern college basketball.

So this place is weird for UCLA basketball coach Ben Howland. This 3-7 start, this recently ended five-game losing streak, this getting booed off the court with John Wooden sitting ...

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