**two independent QHOs somehow correspond to angular momentum**and everything was derived from there. I understand all the algebra (pretty basic stuff) but I don't understand the initial assumption.

Or, am I way off base and is the only relation between angular momentum and two independent QHOs that the two oscillators satisfy the J plus and J minus operator algebra?

You can see the lecture here if you want (AM stuff is 27 minutes in).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCua1R9VIiQ&feature=channel