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.” Continue reading →
When you gather together every Pac-12 coach into one room, a few good moments are bound to materialize. Here are some of the best quotes from Thursday’s Pac-12 Media Day, held at Pac-12 Networks studios in San Francisco.
– Arizona ran away with media votes in the preseason poll, taking 21 of 23 first-place votes. UCLA and Colorado finished second and third, respectively, each taking one of the two remaining votes.
Buffs guard Spencer Dinwiddie didn’t agree with that projection: “We don’t view Arizona as the top, the cream, and everybody else in the rest. We view ourselves as the cream and everybody else can fight for the rest of the spots.” Continue reading →
Say this for Andy Enfield: he knows how to make headlines. The USC coach first came to national prominence while guiding Florida Gulf Coast to a thrilling, dunk-filled run to the Sweet Sixteen.
Now in Los Angeles, he’s trying to build up a long-struggling Trojans program while seizing attention away from UCLA — a traditional basketball power trying to find its own way under new coach Steve Alford.
According to the San Jose Mercury-News, Enfield stopped a recent USC scrimmage and told his players they weren’t executing his “Dunk City” offense the way he wanted.
“We play up-tempo basketball here,” he said. “If you want to play slow, go to UCLA.” Continue reading →
UCLA’s thin frontcourt received the big boost Tuesday afternoon.
The NCAA cleared freshman forward Wanaah Bail to play the 2013-14 season, clearing up a summer of doubt surrounding the former Texas Tech signee’s eligibility. The former three-star recruit adds depth to the Bruins three weeks away from the team’s Nov. 8 season opener against Drexel.
“We are grateful that this matter has come to a conclusion and are very happy for Wanaah,” head coach Steve Alford said in a statement. Continue reading →
Assistant coach Ed Schilling started UCLA’s Monday practice with a skill-work session, focusing on dribbling and passing. Some players couldn’t dribble two balls at quite the rhythm and pace asked of them, so it’s a good sign the staff is spending time building these skills.
– The eligibility of forward Wanaah Bail and guard Isaac Hamilton are still undetermined. Coach Steve Alford said the NCAA could issue a decision on Bail very soon, but Hamilton’s appeal was submitted very recently. Continue reading →
UCLA officially started practicing this past Saturday, and the first 15 minutes of Monday’s afternoon session was open to the media. The Bruins didn’t do anything intensive to start, but freshman Bryce Alford manned the point while Kyle Anderson did individual drills at the other end of the court.
Anderson said he’s playing a lot more point guard than he did under former head coach Ben Howland, estimating the increase at roughly 90 percent.
Steve Alford’s recruits haven’t taken the usual route to UCLA. The first was his son. The second, an athletic forward who originally signed with Texas Tech in 2012.
His latest is Isaac Hamilton, a five-star guard whose eligibility for the upcoming season is still in doubt. The Bruins officially announced his arrival today, stating that the McDonald’s All-American signed a scholarship offer on Thursday.
“Isaac is a big, versatile guard and will fit well with our system of play,” Alford said in a statement. “We are excited he is a Bruin today.” Continue reading →
UCLA’s Steve Alford was among the several Southern California head coaches who attended the John R. Wooden Award Tipoff lunch Wednesday, and previewed the Bruins to members of the Los Angeles Athletic Club. He was not available for questions afterward, but made a few comments about the team.
Some quick notes from the day:
– Alford said center Tony Parker had a great summer, and also grouped Kyle Anderson with Jordan Adams and Norman Powell as “big, physical guards.” The coach didn’t go into the rotation in detail, but UCLA’s lack of depth in the frontcourt likely necessitates Anderson playing more point forward than guard. Continue reading →
After back-to-back misses on Wednesday and Thursday, the Bruins swung back with a big-time commitment.
Rivals.com broke the news this morning that five-star guard Isaac Hamilton has been admitted to UCLA, a welcome salve for the Bruins after missing out on four-star point guards Jordan McLaughlin and Quentin Snider. Originally signed with UTEP, Hamilton will need a waiver to play the upcoming season.
Ranked the No. 14 player in the 2013 class, the St. John Bosco shooting guard was originally a coup for coach Tim Floyd and the Miners. Top recruits in the west don’t often leave the region, and when they do, it’s to places like Durham or Lexington — not El Paso, which hasn’t seen an NCAA tournament win since 1992. Continue reading →
Four-star point guard Jordan McLaughlin committed to USC this afternoon, picking the Trojans over UCLA, Kansas and Indiana. His decision, announced in a ceremony at Etiwanda High, marked one of the few times in recent memory that the Bruins lost to their crosstown rivals in a head-to-head recruiting battle.
Rated the ninth-best point guard in the country by Scout.com, McLaughlin would have filled a glaring need for UCLA. The Bruins lost a steady presence when Larry Drew II graduated, and don’t have a proven commodity to replace him at the one. Point forward Kyle Anderson is a gifted passer, but is expected to leave for the NBA next spring. Continue reading →