UCLA basketball links: Steve Alford’s job looking more secure

It’s not an exaggeration to say Steve Alford helped himself more than any college basketball coach in the country with the one significant opportunity provided to him since the debacle that was last season.

The UCLA coach didn’t just pull in a good 2017 recruiting class over the last week, he landed the consensus No. 1 group in the nation (rivals, scout, espn and 247sports each ranked UCLA No. 1).

For the coach with 4/9 odds to return to his team next season, Alford just gave Dan Guerrero five good reasons not to let him go, chief among them 6-foot-8 Indianapolis guard Kris Wilkes, who Alford gushes about in the video above. It’s not uncommon for incoming players to be released from their letters of intent should the coach that signed them be fired. UCLA brought in a pair of five-star players, two four-star players and the lone three-star recruit is the first of Lonzo Ball’s two brothers bound for UCLA.

The 2016 class isn’t looking too shabby either. A school-record 18 3-pointers in the season-opener was followed by an impressive second-half performance for opposite reasons in a 102-87 win on Sunday. But any expectations should be severely tempered given that the opponents thus far have been Pacific and CSUN.


  • UCLA’s defense will be on display Thursday against San Diego
  • Lonzo Ball is the most interesting player in college basketball
  • Video: Alford on the most important piece of the ’17 recruiting class
  • Video: Alford on philosophy change in Sunday’s win over CSUN
  • Video: Alford on up-tempo style attracting recruits to UCLA
  • From espn.com: Alford embarks on make-or-break season at UCLA