Steve Alford expects resolution to UCLA shoplifting investigation soon

UCLA coach Steve Alford shouts to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Cal State Bakersfield in Los Angeles Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. UCLA won 75-66. (Reed Saxon/AP)

UCLA is already free from the Ball Family drama and it will soon be able to move on from the international shoplifting scandal that struck five weeks ago.

Head coach Steve Alford said Thursday he expects a resolution to the student conduct investigation involving freshmen Jalen Hill and Cody Riley within one week and as early as the end of this week. When the final decision comes from UCLA’s Office of Student Conduct, Alford will be involved in any possible further discipline pertaining to the basketball team for the two freshmen who were arrested, along with LiAngelo Ball, for shoplifting in Hangzhou, China last month.

“It’s just one more of those distractions that we get behind us,” Alford said Thursday before the Bruins face No. 25 Cincinnati on Saturday at Pauley Pavilion. “The guys in the locker room have had nothing to with any of it. So that’s why I’m very pleased with where we’re at. … This young team has had to deal with a lot, but we’re 7-2, playing well.”

Ball, and his younger brother LaMelo, a former UCLA commit for the 2019 recruiting class, have already signed professional contracts to play overseas in Lithuania, ruling them both ineligible to play college games.

Ball’s father LaVar cited the long, indefinite suspension as a reason he pulled his middle son out of UCLA suddenly last week. It’s also been difficult for the remaining Bruins, who have been stuck in an uncertain situation waiting to hear whether their teammates will be available.

“It definitely changed a lot of our team, our depth is pretty much gone, especially for the bigs, there’s only three or four of us,” forward GG Goloman said. “So it puts a little more pressure on us, but it’s just adversity, so we’ve just got to push through that.”

UCLA’s depth was cut from 11 to eight after the suspensions. Guard Aaron Holiday leads the Pac-12 in minutes per game with 36.2 and played every minute of the second half and overtime in UCLA’s loss to Michigan last weekend. Alford is so desperate for depth that he will even occasionally turn to walk-ons Ikenna Okwarabizie and Alec Wulff in the final minutes of the first half. Wulff, a senior, played the final 87 seconds of the first half against Michigan with the Bruins up by five to give freshman Jaylen Hands a brief break before halftime.

Alford said he saw Holiday and center Thomas Welsh starting to wear down at the end of the game against the Wolverines as the Bruins squandered a 15-point lead with 14:48 to go. Welsh had 22 points and 10 rebounds in 40 minutes while Holiday had a career-high 27 points and seven assists in 43 minutes, but also committed seven turnovers.

“That’s something I’ve got to be able to do,” Alford said of getting rests for Holiday and Welsh. “Part of that is trusting the young guys and I think now we’ve had that one road game where I think there’s going to be more trust in that these young guys are going to get a little bit more familiar with what it’s like to play on the road.”

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  • JustOwns

    It’s time for UCLA to fish or cut bait: Expulsion, term suspension or team reinstatement with BB season probation.

    • EncinitasBruin

      Finally an “on point” comment! Agree.

  • Paul

    Knowing Alford’s character, I expect reinstatement. In his mind, the Ball kid quitting gives him cover.

    Wooden would have kicked all three off the team.

    • 88 Straight

      It’s not up to Alford.

      • Paul

        I’ll wager he has a big say in whether they play basketball.

        • 88 Straight

          Not in this case. It’s a student conduct process which is the same for all students.

          • j metaphor

            Yes,
            Can’t discriminate no matter how embarrassing or international it was.
            If they get more punishment than the next student, that’s negative discrimination.
            Back on the court next week.

          • Jethro G Sabbath

            I guess all your lectures about the high standards in Westwood were nothing more than hot air.

      • gotroy22

        Kissy 86er, I haven’t seen you calling for The Wife Beater of the Senate Tom Carper’s resignation. Too busy playing golf with the PBS Pervs Garrison, Tavis and Charlie?

        • JustOwns

          Dan Johnson, Kentucky Ratpublican lawmaker, cheeky perv, and Pastor/self proclaimed Pope of his Heart of Fire Church, recently committed suicide. His suicide were the result of allegations of his drunkenness leading to his molestation of a 17 year girl.

          Once again 22 fails to mow his own lawn.

          Dan’s last message on facebook (now deleted) claimed “God knows the truth; nothing is the way ‘they’ make out to be. I can’t handle it any longer…..but heaven is my home.”

          Is it possible Dan plans to hang with the Vi*gins in the garden of paradise.

          • Wrong “religion.”

            Why are you mocking Islam? What are you, some kind of greasy Islamophobe?

            And you didn’t read his post. He blamed PTSD, not the allegations.

          • 88 Straight

            He was under investigation for the sexual assault allegation and for claiming to have been in NY on 9/11 which may have been a whopper of a lie. PTSD or guilt felings? Only he really knows. And his family suffers.

          • Any evidence that he lied?

          • 88 Straight

            I think it was being investigated further. I didn’t look in detail because I’m pretty tired of all these stories and I have been occupied with more important things. I’ve had my fill of all these hypocrites, left, right, religious, non-religious and entertainment. Time for basketball.

          • Jethro G Sabbath

            You don’t kid yourself into believing one group is made up entirely of great people who do no wrong and the other side is a bunch of miscreants responsible for everything bad in the world?
            How refreshing.

          • 88 Straight

            Thanks, Jethro. I’ve been around too long and seen too many examples from all sides. Some people wonder why I watch or visit the SC site for example. My favorite uncle is a rabid Trojan. He’s a fantastic guy and was a local youth coach that has coached kids that ended up in MLB, the NBA and the NFL. How can I hate every Trojan with that example?

            I have served on various boards. I have seen Republicans write big checks to help poor and minority kids, not just liberals. I have seen cheapskates on both sides as well. Everything is so polarized today. The world is far more grey than it is black and white. Except on the Internet or on TV news channels.

          • gotroy22

            Kissy86er the far left ideologue is mystified that everything is polarized.

          • gotroy22

            You mean the Defender of Women hypocrites that make up your golf foursome, Kissy86er?

          • gotroy22

            Facts aren’t Kissy86er’s long suit. He just regurgitates what Media Matters feeds him.

          • Did you see that Politico’s reporting that Obama gave Hezbollah a pass for running cocaine into the U.S. so that he could green-light Iran’s nuclear genocide program?

            Which will end up being more shocking: the depths of Obama’s treason, the lengths to which leftists will go in order to obfuscate for and extenuate it, or that Politico reported on it at all?

          • gotroy22

            Kissy 86er will always defend Obama, BJ Clinton and Hillary no matter what their crimes.

          • It’s stunning how, in their attempts to destroy Trump, the Left is destroying itself.

            It’s probably too much to hope for, but if this trend continues, there might actually be some justice done.

          • gotroy22

            Like your family suffers until your time on earth ends soon.

          • EncinitasBruin

            Even for you, 22, that’s below the belt and frightening. Really an awful thing to wish on someone.

          • gotroy22

            Is that what your son the fake Marine told you to say?

          • gotroy22

            Owns thinks it is great that The Wife Beater of the Senate is allowed to continue Defending the Rights of Women in the Dumbocrat Party.

  • Richard

    Yes, yes, try to destroy them like we did to All-Pro WR Paul Richardson.
    Throw them outta school and charge them for any expenses incurred in this episode.
    # Burn them at the stake !

    When they go low, we go high.

    SC’s (Asst) HEAD BB COACH Bland federally indicted for stashing cash to recruits a la prev SC HEAD BB COACH Tim Floyd AND Bland is still being paid by SC.

    We’re living in Trumpf World now.
    Mendacity, dishonesty, immorality even treason is de rigueur.
    You can’t spend integrity !
    Time for UCLA to join the 21st Century and stop competing w both hands tied behind its back.

    PLAY THEM NOW

    • Ed Garrett

      you a raycest dickard!

    • gotroy22

      You ruins are living in the Harvey Weinstein Dustin Hoiffman, Bryan Singer, Senator Tom Carper World, where the motto is “Do as I say, not as I do.” Nice how Hillary’s pal Harvey blacklisted Mira Sorvino and…wait for it…Nasty Girl Ashley Judd, that great Defender of Women… except when her career is involved. Then she shuts that big mouth of hers.

      Please save your faux lectures on mendacity, dishonesty, immorality, integrity and treason.

      • JustOwns

        Hey 22, Wes Goodman needs you to light his stokie.

        Wes says nobody but 22 has a mouth big enough to devour his kit.

        • gotroy22

          Hey Owns the illegal alien Dumbocrat Congressman Ruben Kihuen needs you to hire him. He’s going to be sent back by ICE if you can’t get him a job. You two can swap stories about how you defend the rights of women in true Dumbocrat ways.

      • Richard

        U dirtbags r living in a Todd Marinovich, OJ Simpson, drunken Haden & Sark, Meth Dean, BB Head Coach $ laundering, recruit buying cabal of felons and worse.

        The Most Sanctioned “School” in NCAA history has no entrance requirements, drug policy or enforcement office.

        Scandal U is the most reviled “institution” in the world & recognized as such by all outside the illiterate losers that comprise the Clown College bubble.

        # And that ain’t no faux s***.

        • 88 Straight

          Troy has trouble with actual facts. He’s like Roy Moore, no concession. Roy’s hoping to get a job at Nickelodeon.

          • gotroy22

            Kissy 86er has trouble with current events. He still doesn’t seem to know who Peter Strzok is. Maybe he can join your pervert foursome .

        • gotroy22

          On Inside USC they were just recounting Red Sanders, your only championship football coach, who died in Nelson Rockefeller style 60 years ago and left his team to be put on probation for cheating, never to be heard from again, and Terry Donahue, who had to forfeit the entire 1977 season and played a functional illiterate named Billy Don Jackson…Please save your moral lectures for your Dumbocrat airhead pals like Kissy86er and gray stool.

    • Trumpf World now. Mendacity, dishonesty, immorality even treason is de rigueur.

      Anyone condemning Trump who doesn’t condemn at least as vigorously the Clintons (and on different grounds, Obama) is a lying hypocrite.

      • 88 Straight

        Trump’s real family name is Drumpf. They changed it.

        NY Times just had a story on lies, documenting Trumps and Obamas. They documented 108 for Trump since taking office and 18 for Obama in 8 years. Now, you may discount it if you don’t like the Times, but Trump is the biggest liar that I have seen, and that includes the scumbag Clinton. But that’s hardly a Clinton endorsement. Not a fan, never have been. Never voted for him or Gore. I just think Trump has reached a new low.

        • You know that I’m no Trump apologist; the fact is that anything a person dislikes in Trump they must despise in Hillary and her rapist husband.

          And Obama’s depredations against the Constitution — and Western Civilization — are far more vile and destructive than any felonies of which the Clintons are guilty.

          • Richard

            Is is just being incredibly stupid or irredeemably EVIL ??

          • gotroy22

            I’d say you are both, ruin.

          • In your case, it looks like it’s both.

        • gotroy22

          And BJ Clinton’s real last name is Blythe. Yet you hypocrites never called him that. And you trust Po-LIB-ifact? You really are a full mooner intern and liar.

        • EncinitasBruin

          As you said to me, 88, there’s no point arguing with goat22; anyone who disagrees with him is suddenly a left-winged liberal. My wife still chuckles at his silly assumption that I voted for any Clinton.

          • gotroy22

            There’s no point believing anything you says EnchiritoRuin, after you admitted your Marine son was actually in high school.

      • JustOwns

        Sandi El Cucaracha, you remind me of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.

        • A typically silly ad hominem from you.

          Must have struck a nerve.

          Thanks for proving my point.

          • JustOwns

            You miss the point Sandi, Santa Anna was a fool to wipe out the silly Tixans defending a Mission and Church that had zero military value for Sam Houston’s Army.

            Sandi, you could make some serious cash hiring yourself out as an Ad Hominem pinata.

          • There was no point, which is the point.

            First Rule of Holes: Stop digging.

            Why do you have no compunction about lying shamelessly?

          • JustOwns

            You’re the expert Sandi. Try following your own advice!

          • A graceful exit? Good choice.

          • JustOwns

            Snore.

          • 🙂

          • gotroy22

            He really doesn’t, just like gray stool and Kissy 86er.

        • gotroy22

          You remind me of the Illegal Alien Dumbocrat Defender of Women Congressman Ruben Kihuen, who just announced today he is fleeing before the House Ethics posse catches up to him for his multiple perversions against his own female Dumbocrat staffers.

      • Richard

        U r one sick ***

        • gotroy22

          U r one typical ruin SJW.

        • sick

          How is pointing out hypocrisy “sick”? What does that say about you?

          (And thanks for proving my point.)

          • Richard

            SIG HEIL, Vladimir !!
            U r a TRAITOR.
            & U can stick ur $1.5trillion tax giveaway to the ultra rich u know where.

          • So, the lying hypocrite defending tyrants shows his true colors with shout-outs to Hitler and a KGB strong man.

            Thanks for proving my point.

          • gotroy22

            You loved Obama the liar adding $10 trillion to the US debt.