Steve Alford notes ‘big difference’ in L.A. rivalry

Last week, Andy Enfield’s in-practice comments on UCLA’s “slow” play picked up steam in the national media. Naturally, it was the first question asked of him at Thursday’s Pac-12 Media Day.

He and UCLA coach Steve Alford both insisted that there was no bad blood between them, mentioning how much respect they had for one another. Alford offered similar thoughts again on Monday before the Bruins’ afternoon practice.

But when asked if he has a better grasp on the city’s rivalry, he pointed something else out.

“It’s hard to say. I know that there’s a rivalry,” Alford said. “Obviously, you’ve got two Pac-12 schools that are in the same town. You understand that. Do I understand there’s still a big difference in the basketball side of it? Yeah, I think there’s still a big difference there.”

Pressed on exactly what that was, Alford said: “If you just look at history, and you have the history and tradition — UCLA-USC, there’s quite a bit of difference there.”

UCLA, of course, has 11 national titles in basketball — 10 of them won under coach John Wooden, one of the sport’s legendary figures. USC, with a 12-18 all-time tournament record, has none.