It's nearly midnight on a rainy Wednesday, and Ben Howland is sitting in the only part of new Pauley Pavilion that is not spacious and sparkling.
The coaches' locker room.
That's right, in the only place in this basketball palace that Howland can hide, he can barely fit, with six coaches crammed into a dressing space the size of a large closet.
It's an appropriate metaphor that is not lost on a UCLA basketball boss whose once stern expression has been softened into a perpetual look of weariness. Howland carefully folds and places his coat on a chair, squeezes into the corner on another chair, runs his hand through his thinning hair, and sighs.
"This is a tough business I'm in," he says. "I understand that without any question."