In Reply to: We've been through this many times posted by cincinnatifan on July 09, 2018 at 10:54:29
Of course anyone has the right to criticize any coach. But we are always dealing with the choice of coaches. If I said, "Self is the person we need to be coach here," it would be silly, because Self isn't coming here. I could still say it, of course, it is my right. But what is the purpose? The question is, how good is Alford compared to someone we could hire? I think it is not an obvious answer. We apparently don't cheat, like some other schools. We have not had any off-court issues, except of course for the almost inexplicable shoplifting by players who had barely even started school here, hardly Alford's bad influence causing that. We have made Three Sweet Sixteens; we would want to do better, but Howland made no Sweet Sixteens in his last five seasons here, and barely made one final top 25 poll, in any of those; just in his last season, we reached #25. Clearly, UCLA has some constraints which other schools do not have, including the difficulty of bringing in transfers.
If someone could knowledgeably tell me that UCLA could get Mike White of Florida, or Tony Bennett of Virginia, then,depending on how this season ended up, I would say that this could well be the way to go. But we can't get either of those, nor indeed virtually any big name we could come up with. Yes, people are paid a lot of money to do coaching searches at UCLA. This has brought us Toledo, Dorrell, Neuheisel, Mora, Farmer, Hazzard, Harrick, Lavin, Howland, Alford. Pretty clearly, UCLA has a history of only being able to hire someone who is either out of work, is an assistant here, used to be an assistant here, or grew up in Southern California. The exception to that was Alford. We either do not want to, or are not able to, go outside a very limited pool. Unlike in football, with a Meyer or Kelly, there are very few out of work coaches in basketball who are worth looking at.
This does not mean that we are compelled to keep Alford, but to me it does show that we could easily hire a worse coach than Alford, or maybe one about the same. So I do think it matters if we can come up with some feasible names. I would not want to rely on our AD to come up with them. Let's see what Alford does this season, I think it is going to be a very good one. If not, we will get a new coach, whoever that is. My hunch is that it would be someone like Krystowiak at Utah or Painter at Purdue, both of whom I think are no better than Alford. Or we could get Kevin Ollie, who actually won a title, barely was .500 in any of his other seasons, and grew up here. Or perhaps Mick Cronin, who is an okay coach who plays an absolutely brutal style to watch, and who is apparently not easy to get along with. Or a major favorite among a particular site, Bobby Hurley, who didn't even deserve to make the tourney last year, and won't this year. With the stunning exception of the Chip Kelly hire, UCLA's modus operandi seems not to involve carefully looking at potential coaches in advance, but to only fire a coach when they are absolutely forced to, and then to just look around at who might be available in that window, and then grab somebody who would fit within the financial constraints.
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