Category Archives: UCLA

Bruins Get Revenge In The Desert

February 25th, 2017

They went into one of the toughest places to play in the country, and found a way.  The Bruins defeated Arizona on Saturday night 77-72, which was their biggest statement win of the season.

The Wildcats had won 70 of 71 straight home games coming into Saturday’s game, and 21 in a row.  However, the Bruins dominated the offensive boards, and used a big 19-4 run in the 2nd half to take down Arizona.

Thomas Welsh scored 12 of his 14 points in the 2nd half.  He was one of 5 Bruins in double figures.  Bryce Alford had 15, TJ Leaf and Aaron Holiday had 12 each, while Lonzo Ball had 11 points and 8 assists.

UCLA had a rough ending to the 1st half, missing 7 of their last 8 shots, as Arizona went on a 10-1 run in the final two minutes.  The Bruins had been up by as many as 7, but they found themselves trailing 43-39 at halftime.

The Bruins decided to play some defense in the 2nd half, switching to a 3-2 zone, which slowed down the Wildcats.  They also outrebounded Arizona 9-1 on the offensive glass in the half.

UCLA stretched the lead to 11 twice late in the game.   The last at 73-62 on Welsh’s’ inside basket with 4:38 to play before Arizona managed one final charge finishing the game on a 10-4 run.

Arizona cut the lead to 75-72 with 29 seconds left.  Aaron Holiday missed the first of a one-and-one free throw, which gave the Wildcats a chance to tie.  However, Kadeem Allen air-balled a three-pointer in the final seconds.  Allonzo Trier had a career-high 28 points in the losing effort.

The win tightens the Pac 12 race and likely puts Oregon in the driver seat to win the Pac 12 regular season title.   Oregon and Arizona are tied for 1st, but the Ducks own the tie-breaker by virtue of winning their head-to-head matchup with the Wildcats.  Arizona has one game left at Arizona State, while Oregon’s final game is at Oregon State.

As for the Bruins, they are now 1.5 games out of 1st place in the conference, with two games left against the Washington schools.  UCLA is still likely to finish in 3rd place, which sets up a very important Pac 12 Tournament.  The Bruins would potentially face Arizona in the semi-finals and Oregon in the finals.  A #1 seed in the West Region would be on the line for the NCAA Tournament.   It’s a tough road but after Saturday, UCLA gave us reasons to believe they can beat anybody on any floor.

Bruins Hold Off Arizona State

February 23rd, 2017

It was easy to look ahead to the big showdown Saturday at Arizona.  The Arizona State Sun Devils nearly took advantage of that, but UCLA held on to beat ASU 87-75.

TJ Leaf lead the way with 25 points and 8 rebounds in the Bruins sixth straight win.  UCLA also got 17 points from Aaron Holiday, and 15 from Bryce Alford.

The Bruins are known for their up-tempo offense, but on this night it was their size that wore down Arizona State.  They won the rebounding battle 49-30, and outscored ASU 50-22 in the paint.  UCLA also held the Sun Devils to 38% shooting despite the Sun Devils connecting on 14 three-pointers.

Shannon Evans II had a slam dunk that put Arizona State up 50-49 with 15:22 left in the 2nd half.  However, UCLA went on a 14-5 run from there, which was capped by an Aaron Holiday three-pointer.

Holiday had what felt like a dagger with 7:29 left, nailing another three-pointer.  That put UCLA up 74-60, and Arizona State went quietly after that.

Torian Graham led Arizona State with 28 points and Kodi Justice added 19, but it wasn’t enough.  The Bruins kept their win streak alive on a quiet offensive night from Lonzo Ball, who scored just 4 points, but did contribute 5 assists and 11 rebounds.

The Bruins can still finish in 2nd place in the Pac-12, and possibly even improve upon their #5 ranking with a win at Arizona on Saturday.  They’ll need Oregon to lose a game or two as well, but a win against the Wildcats would do wonders for their confidence in their chase for a National Championship.

 

Bruins Snap Skid Against Trojans

 

February 19th, 2017

For the first time in about two years, the Bruins looked like a basketball school against their cross-town rivals. #6 UCLA routed the Trojans 102-70 on Saturday Night at Pauley Pavilion.

The win snapped a four game losing streak against the Trojans on the hardwood, including an 84-76 loss at USC last month. The Bruins improved to 14-1 at home, and are now 5-0 in the month of February.

Bryce Alford led the way for the Bruins with 26 points, including 10 straight in the second half, along with 5 three-pointers. All five starters were in double figures for UCLA, including Lonzo Ball, who had 15 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists, as well as TJ Leaf, who scored 19 points to go along with 8 rebounds.   Thomas Welsh contributed a career-high 16 rebounds too.

Not much went right for USC, who was led by Bennie Boatwright’s 20 points and 10 rebounds.   Boatwright, who didn’t play in the first meeting between the Bruins and Trojans, didn’t get much help from his teammates. USC shot only 34% from the field, and got crushed on the boards by a margin of 50-33.

“We beat them the first time by making it tough for them on offense; we challenge shots,” USC Coach Andy Enfield said. “And tonight they did make some tough ones, but our defense was not as exceptional as it was the first time we played them.”

With 8 minutes left in the first half, UCLA went on a 17-3 run. That run was capped by a deep Lonzo Ball three-pointer, which gave the Bruins a 46-34 lead at halftime. That’s the fourth time this season that Ball has hit a deep three-pointer in the final seconds before halftime. The Bruins have won all four of those games.

UCLA appears to be locked into 3rd place in the Pac 12, but is gaining more momentum heading into March. “Coach always says February sets up March,” said Lonzo Ball. “So that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Everyone will look at the 100 points and believe the Bruins won this game with their #1 ranked offense in the nation. However, it was really the effort on the defensive end, and on the glass that was the biggest difference in UCLA’s win, as well as in the last three weeks. Those are things the Bruins will need to continue if they expect to compete for a National Championship.

Bruins Come Alive in 2nd Half To Beat Oregon State

February 12th, 2017

Lonzo Ball is now taking over on both ends of the floor.  His evolution continued against Oregon State on Sunday, as UCLA ran away from the Beavers with a 78-60 win.

Ball had 22 points and 9 assists, while TJ Leaf added 13 points in a game that UCLA led by only 5 points at the end of the first half.

The Bruins shot 52% on the way to their fourth straight win, but it wasn’t easy in the early going.  UCLA was trailing 27-24 with three minutes left in the half.  They managed to score the half’s final 8 points, but played with little energy in the game’s first 20 minutes.

UCLA broke the game open in the 2nd half with a 14-3 run, and with 5:37 left they had their biggest lead of the game at 71-48.  The run was sparked by a full court press that the Bruins unveiled for the first time this season.  They held the Beavers to 40% shooting for the game.

Bruins Coach Steve Alford was pleased with the effort, but stressed the importance of keeping it in perspective.  “There’s obviously been a lot of talk about our defense, which after doing this for almost 26 years, it’s almost comical because other teams aren’t critiqued like we are,” he said. “It’s who you are as your identity. Our team is a very efficient offensive team. Yes, we do want to continue to improve defensively, that’s a huge key for us. But we’re not all of a sudden going to start playing a 50-possession game to hold people in the 50s.”

The win gave the Bruins a weekend sweep of the Oregon schools at home.  It was also their first season sweep of OSU since 2012.  The last time the Bruins played the Beavers at Pauley Pavilion, the suffered an 85-82 loss on March 5th, 2016.

UCLA maintained its grip on 3rd place in the Pac 12, and will now get ready for a showdown against USC next week.  The Bruins will try to avenge an 84-76 loss to the Trojans last month.

 

Eight Clap? Bruins Behind The Eight Ball

February 11th, 2017

Remember when you thought the Bruins were going to be a #1 seed in this year’s tournament? Well the odds of that happening now are about as good as going a whole day without hearing anybody talk about Donald Trump.

For the first time, the NCAA released a midseason preview of what the top four seeds would look like in each region if the tournament started today. The Bruins were the fourth seeded team in the East Region. That region also had Villanova, Louisville, and Kentucky as the top three seeds. Villanova was the #1 overall seed, with Kansas, Baylor, and Gonzaga as the other three #1 seeds.

The real problem for UCLA is Oregon and Arizona, who are likely to finish ahead of them in the Pac 12 standings. Even after defeating Oregon on Thursday night, the Ducks were the #2 seed in the West. Arizona, who was recently defeated by Oregon by 27 points, is a #3 seed in the Midwest.

UCLA is 2 games behind Arizona for 1st place in the conference, and 1 game behind Oregon.   The Bruins get to play Arizona 1 more time during the regular season, but Arizona and Oregon don’t play again. That means it would take a Hillary Clinton like collapse by The Wildcats and Ducks to be passed in the standings heading into the Pac 12 tournament.

The committee didn’t seem to put much weight into recent wins when they came up with their rankings.   North Carolina was still a #2 seed despite losing to Duke on Thursday. Florida hammered Kentucky a week ago, yet they have the same #3 seed as Kentucky, who also lost at home to the Bruins. It’s also strange that a team like West Virginia, who has 5 losses and 2 against teams rated outside the top 75, has the same #4 seed as UCLA.

The best hope for the Bruins is to get hot in March and win the Pac 12 tournament. That might get them a #2 seed and slightly closer to home in the West Region. The Bruins will try to keep things rolling tomorrow afternoon at home against Oregon State.

Monday Morning Coffee

Kobe-Harden

December 14th, 2015

I must have missed the big announcement last week.  The announcement that Byron Scott has stepped down as the Laker head coach, and that Kobe Bryant has volunteered to take over those duties.  That really happened right? I mean it sure felt like it last Wednesday in Minnesota when Kobe told Byron that he wanted to sit out the 4th quarter and overtime in order for the Lakers younger players to gain valuable experience in crunch time.  I’ve supported Byron more than most people throughout the season, and his desire to make D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson work for everything.  However, in that situation it was a no brainer to play the kids, and the fact Byron needed Kobe to point it out is about as embarrassing as being a Clippers fan.  In any case, we knew Jordan Clarkson can play, but does anybody still think that D’Angelo Russell or Julius Randle are going to be a bust after the last week? Patience people.  It’s a long climb back to the top but Russell, Clarkson, and Randle just might get the Lakers there.  The Lakers are doing such a great job of tanking right now that they actually afforded themselves the opportunity to win a few games.  That might actually be good for morale.

The Clippers continue to pile up wins against the finest mediocrity the Association has to offer.  They may have won 7 of their last 9 games, but the Clipps haven’t beaten a team over .500 in 19 games.  The more and more I watch this team, the more I think that their window has slammed shut.  We’ve seen four seasons of the Blake Griffin-Chris Paul-Deandre Jordan Clippers, and they haven’t been any better than the best teams in the franchise’s history.  This reality is starting to set in for Doc Rivers, who very quietly is taking calls on Jamal Crawford, Lance Stephenson, and Josh Smith, but not finding much of a trade market for him.  The Paul Pierce acquisition has also been a complete failure, as even he admits that he’s frustrated by the things he can’t do anymore, and is already talking about retirement at years end.  More than anything, nobody knows what the Clippers identity is.  Uptempo? Defensive toughness? The only identity I see is a bunch of front running whiners.

The Warriors probably considered firing Luke Walton after almost losing a game on Friday in Boston.  It took a double overtime game the night before, and the second night of a back-to-back on the last game of a 7 game trip for the Warriors to actually lose a game.  The streak may be over, but don’t be surprised if you see another long one.

On to college hoops where the Bruins suddenly have it together.  A little over a week after taking down #1 Kentucky, the Bruins went on the road and knocked off #20 Gonzaga, and will likely be back in the AP Top 25 this week.  I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but the Bruins are taking on the personality of it’s coach: scrappy play, good shot selection, and limiting turnovers.  For those of you hoping Steve Alford fails miserably so UCLA can get a better coach, you’re not going to like this. I know there’s a lot of you out there, but you’re just going to have to get behind this guy, because the Bruins might just quietly be contenders for the Pac-12 Title.

It’s time for your weekly Dodger offseason update.  Oh wait….there’s nothing to update because Andrew Friedman and his band of nerds haven’t done crap.  Friedman is supposedly a baseball genius, and when you are a GM in LA, you can’t fail….because you have unlimited resource.  Friedman is a genius all right, because he is finding a way to fail harder than a college fraternity boy, despite having unlimited resources.  Friedman also claimed he’s trying to make the team younger.  In order to get younger, Friedman and Farhan Zaidi add 35-year-old Hisashi Iwakuma and 37-year-old Chase Utley.  These two might know baseball, but they sure don’t know math.

As for the Angels, the news is only slightly better.  They are busy adding some minor parts like Yunel Escobar and Craig Gentry.  Yes, I had to Google those guys too to figure out who the hell they were. The Halos have a pretty good team, but the problem is the Rangers and Astros have even better teams that are on the rise.  The Angels should have signed Howie Kendrick yesterday, and they also should be all over Justin Upton.  I realize that Arte Moreno doesn’t want to pay the luxury tax, but the window to win with Mike Trout won’t last forever, especially with Albert Pujols’ 85th Birthday around the corner.  There’s still time to make moves, but the Angels need to be bold if they want to keep up with the rest of the AL West.

The Heisman Trophy ceremony was just irritating to watch.  I’m not sure anybody could snub Christian McCaffrey, who was by far the best player in college football this year.  Alabama fans plan to celebrate Derrick Henry’s Heisman Trophy win by having sex with their cousins.  Then again, everybody has their noses so far up the SEC’s rear end this can’t be a surprise.  Neither was Johnny Manziel’s Heisman ballot, which was 1. Jack Daniels 2. Johnnie Walker and 3. Jim Beam.

Finally, Week 13 of the NFL was in full effect yesterday.  Danny Woodhead and the Chargers were dropping more balls yesterday than puberty in Kansas City.  What happened to the Falcons? Being a fan of them is like having your dad show up to your first birthday party and then never seeing him again. The Broncos should’t even be allowed to watch the playoffs on TV after losing to a Raiders team with -12 yards of offense in a half.  The NFC East Champion should get a spot in the Alamo Bowl.  Will Dez Bryant ever make a play that is ruled a catch in Green Bay? Now the Cincinnati Bengals can now disappoint their fans again in this years playoffs without Andy Dalton.  Johnny Manziel found out that he can’t have whiskey on the sideline…..

Bruins Rally Against Nebraska

Brett Hundley

September 14th, 2013

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the UCLA locker room at halftime of their game against Nebraska.  The Bruins were trailing 21-10 in Lincoln, and were being dominated.  In fact, it was 21-3 up until the final minute of the first half, before the Bruins started to wake up.  This might have also been because kickoff was at 9 am Pacific Time, which is usually about the time that most college kids are still recovering from their hangovers.  Then the Bruins scored 28 unanswered points in the 2nd half to defeat the Cornhuskers 41-21, and improve to 2-0 on the season.

In a post game interview that Jim Mora Jr did with AM 570 Fox Sports LA, Mora said that there weren’t really any adjustments to make at halftime, and it was simply a matter of focusing and executing better.  What he really meant, was that he had to tell his players to wake the hell up and start playing the way they know how to.  It’s a good thing they did, because this victory was a  tribute their former teammate Nick Pasquale, who was killed last weekend after being hit by a car in San Clemente, CA.   The Bruins wore number 36 patches on their jerseys to honor Pasquale.

The Bruins were once again led by quarterback Brett Hundley, who had 294 yards passing, to go along with 3 touchdowns.  Hundley did have one interception, but also tacked on another 61 yards rushing.   Jordan James was effective running the ball again for UCLA, rushing for 105 yards and a touchdown.

The 35 point explosion began with a 10 yard touchdown run from Paul Perkins with under a minute left in the first half.  The Bruins then opened the 2nd half with an 89 yard drive down the field, capped off by a 3 yard touchdown run by James.  After the Cornhuskers went three and out, the Bruins put together another 57 yard drive, ending in a 28 yard touchdown pass from Hundley to Shaquelle Evans.  That gave the Bruins the lead for good, and Hundley would go on to add two more touchdown passes for good measure.

Mora said “our aim is to be special.  Our aim is not to be average.”  The Bruins definitely looked special on Saturday afternoon, winning on the road against a a team that had won 14 straight non-conference home games, and 10 home games in a row.  All of this coming during a week in which they attended the funeral of their former teammate, Pasquale, and playing with heavy hearts.

The Bruins are off to a nice start, but the road ahead will not be easy.  They should handle New Mexico State at home next week, but will have a much more difficult stretch against Cal, Stanford, and Oregon.  In the meantime, UCLA should feel very good about honoring Pasquale in the best possible way.

 

 

 

 

Something’s Bruin

NCAA Football: Nevada at UCLA

 

September 1st, 2013

The UCLA football team opened their season in spectacular fashion on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.   The Bruins pounded Nevada 58-20 to kick off a season that is beginning with high hopes for the UCLA faithful.  The Wolf Pack put up a good fight in the first half, but the Bruins exploded for 41 points in the 2nd half to cruise to an easy win.

I would say I had the pleasure of seeing this victory first hand, but considering it was nearly 90 degrees with 61% humidity at game time, I think I was just fortunate that I didn’t die of a heat stroke while attending the game.  Nevertheless, Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley put up video game like numbers against Nevada, as he finished with 274 yards passing, to go along with 2 touchdown passes, and 2 rushing touchdowns.  If he keeps this up, he might have a chance of getting invited to NY this winter for the Heisman Trophy ceremony.

Even more impressive was the Bruins running game.  One of the biggest question marks for this team coming into the season was how they would replace running back Jonathan Franklin.  At least for one night, that question was emphatically answered by junior Jordan James, who rushed for 155 yards on 21 carries, while adding a touchdown.  James got plenty of support from his teammates too, as Hundley rushed for 60 yards, freshman Paul Perkins rushed for 55 yards, and the Bruins ran for a total of 345 yards.

Much of this can be attributed to the job the Bruins offensive line did, which did not allow Hundley to be sacked once.  Just 8 plays into the game, Hundley ran for a 37 yard touchdown to put the UCLA up early.  For the first time in nearly a decade, the Bruins actually have a good quarterback.   Head coach Jim Mora Jr. said “if there’s one place you want security, it’s at quarterback.  He just really wants to be a great player.  Youv’e got to love it.”

Bruins fans are definitely loving it.  Although you might not have been able to tell from the less than capacity crowd that showed up.  The attendance was announced at 60,562 , which is far less than its capacity of over 90,000 .  Much of this can be attributed to UCLA not actually starting classes until late September, which usually limits the crowd at the first game.  Also, the heat was brutal.  Many of the prime tailgating spots were vacant right up until game time, and many people probably didn’t show up at the Rose Bowl because they feared they were going to melt.

As for the Bruins, there are still questions that need to be answered on the defensive side of the ball.    The secondary has been rebuilt, but it was pretty untested in the season opener.  UCLA had a knack for giving up huge plays last season at very inopportune times.  Against Nevada, they didn’t give up any huge plays, but they did surrender 353 yards to scrappy Wolf Pack quarterback, Cody Fajardo.  They’ll need to tighten things up in the coming weeks against better competition.

UCLA will have a bye next week, then travel to Lincoln to take on 18th ranked Nebraska on September 14th.  The Bruins have a tough road ahead of them, including road games against Stanford and Oregon in October.  Vegas lists the over/under on Bruin wins this year at 6.  That’s right….6 games!  As tough as the schedule is, I can’t see this team winning less than 8 games.  The Bruins played 11 freshman yesterday in significant roles, and although inexperienced, they appear deep and talented.  Something big may be Bruin in Westwood.

Can The Bruins Build On Last Year?

Bruins Hundley

July 25th, 2013

With the Bruins getting ready to open training camp, it’s time to ask: can the team build on last season’s surprising success?  UCLA’s 9 wins, and 2nd straight trip to the Pac 12 Championship game last season was more surprising than a sorority girl being sober on a Saturday night on the row.  Head Coach Jim Mora Jr. completely change the culture of the program in one season, and quarterback Brett Hundley emerged as the best UCLA Quarterback since I was causing trouble in my college days.

Despite some big wins over ASU, USC, and Nebraska, the Bruins also had some nasty losses to Cal and Baylor, where they looked like a completely different, and horrendous team.  The schedule will be much tougher this year, including back-to-back road games at Stanford and Oregon.  Fortunately for UCLA, there’s quite a few winnable games at home.

The Bruins return 7 starters on offense, and 5 starters on defense.   The biggest question mark on offense right now is who will be running the football?  With Jonathan Franklin leaving for the NFL, UCLA will look to Jordon James and Damian Thigpen to emerge as a #1 running back.  The Bruins were a solid 37th in the nation in rushing yards last season, but they’ll need to have someone step up in order to be just as effective as last season.  The offensive line is still young, but added 6 four star freshman to the mix, which will provide some much needed depth.   They are led by all-conference guard Xavier Su’a-Filo, who is entering his junior season.

Meanwhile, the receiving corp is still looking strong, led by the return of Senior Shaquelle Evans.  Evans was recently named to the Biletnikoff pre-season award list, as a potential candidate for the top receiver in the nation.  Sophomore Steve Manfro should emerge as a solid #2 receiver for this group as well, which was 34th in the nation in passing last season.  Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone made use of a very well balanced attack, and Hundley figures to improve in his second full season as a starter, which should make the offense just as lethal.

On defense, UCLA was surprisingly effective last year due to a solid pass rush.  However, their lack of depth up front hurt them in the 2nd half of many of their games.  This years defensive front will be led by senior defensive end Cassius Marsh, but will take a major hit with the potential loss of Owamagbe Odighizuwa, who will likely be lost to a hip injury.  The Bruns added depth here with some quality freshman, but they key will be avoiding giving up the big play, which this unit was known for at inopportune times last season.

The linebacking corp is led by Senior Anthony Barr, who is one of the best 3-4 linebackers in the country, and also was 2nd in the nation in sacks last season.  Junior Erik Kendricks should be very effective alongside of Barr, so the Bruins shouldn’t have much of a drop off here after losing Damien Holmes and Datone Jones.

As for the secondary, this is where Bruin fans might wet their pants in fear.  5 of last seasons 6 top defensive backs are gone, and that unit was horrendous.  The Bruins added several 4 star recruits in their defensive backfield, so its hard to image this group getting any worse, but nevertheless, it’s the teams biggest concern.

If the Bruins are going to return to the Pac-12 Championship for the 3rd year in a row, they will have to come up with a couple of big wins on the road.  Here’s my prediction:

vs Nevada- Win

@ Nebraska- Loss

vs New Mexico St – Win

@ Utah – Win

vs Cal- Win

@ Stanford- Loss

@ Oregon- Loss

vs Colorado- Win

@ Arizona- Win

vs Washington- Win

vs ASU- Loss

@ USC – Win

An 8-4 finish for the Bruins.  As more teams get more film on Jim Mora Jr’s squad, UCLA is unlikely to surprise teams like last season without further adjustments.  A number of incoming freshman will have to make an impact on the defensive side of the ball, and they will need a full season to develop.  The road schedule will be a challenge for this group, but they certainly have the chance to go undefeated at home to keep them in the Pac-12 race.  The 2013 season may not be as promising as the previous season, but the Bruins are building a new brand of football in Westwood, which could be a national player in 2014 and beyond.

 

 

 

STEVE ALFORD: STEVE LAVIN REINCARNATED

Steve-AlfordSteve Lavin Images

March 30th, 2013

When I work up this morning, I had to double check the date to make sure it wasn’t April Fool’s day.  Much to my disappointment, it was only March 30th.  That meant the ESPN report that Steve Alford would be hired as the next UCLA coach was true.

UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero confirmed in a conference call Saturday morning that Alford will receive a 7 year $18.2 million contract.  Alford will be paid $2.6 million per season, along with a $200,000 signing bonus to cover a buyout from his contract with New Mexico.

So let me get this straight: Ben Howland hasn’t been to the Sweet 16 in the last 5 years, and the Bruins just hired a coach who has been there just once in the last 18 years??  Not only is this a let down for Bruin fans, it’s an obvious downgrade from Howland and Steve Lavin.

Let me try to highlight the few positives of hiring Alford.  Alford has had success recruiting on the west coast.  He lured MWC player of the year Kendall Williams to New Mexico, as well as Riverside product Tony Snell, who has developed into an NBA prospect.  The Bruins may also now have a shot at elite 2013 recruit Aaron Gordon, who is still undecided on where he will attend college.  UCLA might also be able to steal a few undecided recruits to add some depth to their roster for next year as well.

Still, the drawbacks are devastatingly disappointing.  Alford hardly brings the “uptempo style” that Guerrero claims.  His teams were only 239th in the nation in possessions per 40 minutes, a style that is very similar to Howland’s.  In fact,  Alford’s teams have typically been know for their defensive discipline.

Even more disappointing is Alford’s post season record of just 5-7 in the NCAA Tournament.  This includes losses to two 14th ranked teams in the opening weekend of the tournament this past season vs Harvard, and vs Northwestern State while coaching Iowa.

To put it in perspective, UCLA just hired a poor man’s Steve Lavin as their next head basketball coach.  Lavin was a great recruiter, but had some up and down regular seasons, and a limited amount of post season success.  Alford may have had more solid regular seasons, but almost no post season success.

Any Bruins fan that is content with the hiring of Alford is simply relieved that Ben Howland is gone and that there will be a new coach with a new approach.  However, within two years UCLA fans will calling for the firing of both Alford and Guerrero.