Report: UCLA could make Bryce Alford walk on for T.J. Leaf

UCLA point guard Bryce Alford, the son of head coach Steve Alford, could be taken off scholarship as a senior in 2016-17. (David Stephenson/AP)

UCLA point guard Bryce Alford, the son of head coach Steve Alford, could be taken off scholarship as a senior in 2016-17. (David Stephenson/AP)

Two months ago, Steve Alford left open the possibility of taking his son Bryce off scholarship.

“We haven’t talked about that,” the UCLA men’s basketball coach said in June. “But obviously, that’s something that we can do.”

And something that appears to be an increasingly likely possibility. According to Scout.com, the Bruins are willing to make point guard Bryce Alford a walk-on in 2016-17 to make room for five-star power forward T.J. Leaf — who decommitted from Arizona on Thursday. Continue reading

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Norman Powell named UCLA’s MVP at basketball banquet

UCLA's Norman Powell defends Byron Wesley during the Bruins' Sweet 16 loss to Gonzaga on March 27. Powell had 16 points, five rebounds and three blocks to end his career at Houston's NRG Stadium. (Tom Pennington/Getty)

UCLA’s Norman Powell defends Byron Wesley during the Bruins’ Sweet 16 loss to Gonzaga on March 27. Powell had 16 points, five rebounds and three blocks to end his career at Houston’s NRG Stadium. (Tom Pennington/Getty)

UCLA men’s basketball held its year-end banquet last night. Here’s the list of awards the team handed out.

Norman Powell, Sr., G, 6-4, 215
John Wooden Award (most valuable player)

Kevon Looney, Fr., F, 6-9, 220
Seymour Armond Memorial Award (most valuable freshman)
Gerald A. Finerman Award (rebounding leader)

Tony Parker, Jr., F/C, 6-9, 260
Player Improvement Award Continue reading

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UCLA’s Kevon Looney could make NBA draft decision soon

UPDATE: Kevon Looney is close to choosing his representation, according to RealGM, and has plans to declare for the NBA draft.

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Kevon Looney has not yet announced whether or not he will leave UCLA and declare for the NBA draft, but head coach Steve Alford doesn’t think the wait will last much longer.

“I think it’ll probably be a quicker decision versus something that’s going to be drawn out,” Alford said.

Although the 6-foot-9 freshman forward left the door open for a return to school last week, it’s difficult to imagine him turning down a chance to become a lottery pick this June. Continue reading

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UCLA adjusts to shooting in cavernous NRG Stadium

UCLA arrived in Houston last night, and shot around for about an hour or so this morning at NRG Stadium. Formerly known as Reliant Stadium, the football venue can seat up to 80,000 people — absolutely dwarfing any other place the Bruins have played this season.

Will that set-up affect how players shoot?

“You get to go out there and you see how big the stadium is,” said point guard Bryce Alford. “The scoreboard is huge. The court is elevated. All that stuff. It’s what you dream of when you’re a kid, playing in a venue like this. …

“You got to get used to the shooting. It’s definitely different, but they’ve done a great job of making the background darker. There’s black (canvas) behind both hoops. So, I don’t think it will be too much different than shooting in a normal gym.”

In case you missed anything, here’s a roundup of our UCLA-Gonzaga coverage so far this week: Continue reading

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VIDEO: Bryce Alford talks about win over SMU, goaltending call

Point guard Bryce Alford was the hero in UCLA’s 60-59 win over SMU to start the NCAA Tournament, scoring 27 points and hitting 9 of 11 from beyond the arc.

The sophomore made four 3-pointers in the last 3:40, but his last one got some help in the form of Yanick Moreira’s goltending.

“It’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to me in the game of basketball,” Alford said.

Alford now holds UCLA’s single-season record for made 3-pointers with 88, one head of the 87 that Arron Afflalo had in 2007.

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