Choosing who to feature on the cover of a UCLA basketball gameday program has been a difficult job the past few seasons because of the number of player defections the Bruins have had.
Since the programs are no doubt printed a few weeks in advance, there's always a good chance the player gracing the cover is no longer a current member of the team.
UCLA definitely guessed wrong for Wednesday night's victory over Cal State Northridge when Joshua Smith appeared on the game program cover hours after the school announced the junior center quit the team. It was an amusing enough twist for Los Angeles Times reporter Baxter Holmes to tweet a photo of the program and to lead his story on Smith's departure with the irony.
Smith is the 11th scholarship player to transfer from UCLA since the Bruins' run of three straight Final Fours ended in 2008. He joins an illustrious list that includes former Mountain West All-Conference standouts Drew Gordon and Chace Stanback, current UNLV star Mike Moser and standout BYU guard Matt Carlino.
UCLA (5-2) did not feel Smith's absence in Wednesday's 82-56 victory over Cal State Northridge, but that probably will change over the course of the season. Not only are the Bruins down to eight scholarship players, freshman center Tony Parker played only one minute Wednesday as a result of a sprained ankle severe enough he was wearing a boot on the bench during the game.