Q: Why is our basketball team so wildly inconsistent this year?
A: The Bruins aren’t very good on defense, which I’d attribute to both the abilities of individual players as well as lackluster coaching. That puts them in a bad spot whenever they fall into scoring droughts; we saw that against USC, when every second-half comeback attempt died because the Trojans responded with quick, easy points. UCLA’s offense has also become very dependent on Bryce Alford’s shooting. When he’s not hitting baskets, everything else bogs down. When he is, however, it’s a difficult team to stop.
Q: Looking ahead to the 2016 season the roster should be filled with talent. What do you think the starting five will look like after T.J. Leaf and Lonzo Ball make it on to campus? If Ball ends up starting, which current guard do you see Coach Alford moving to the bench?
A: Since no one on the team looks NBA-ready, let’s assume that none of them makes a bad decision to turn pro early. In that case, I’d expect the starting lineup to look something like:
C — Thomas Welsh, Jr.
F — T.J. Leaf, Fr.
G — Isaac Hamilton, Sr.
G — Bryce Alford, Sr.
G — Lonzo Ball, Fr.
Since there’s no way Alford will send his son to the bench — and since Hamilton will also be a senior — Aaron Holiday in a sixth man role probably makes the most sense. But I could also see a scenario where Hamilton becomes the leading scorer of the second unit. Continue reading