In Reply to: My Usual Response To: posted by 68mgr on October 10, 2018 at 11:03:44
Ask yourself this: if you were the power that be and you knew that your team would continue to get talented players and the team would hardly ever be considered a strong contender for conference championships and might get past the sweet sixteen but maybe very infrequently (never so far) and may miss the tournament sometimes, would you stay put or would you try to get someone who may be able to have better results?
I understand the difficulties of coaching at a place like UCLA. I understand that UCLA has trouble attracting established college coaches with a strong resume of superlative accomplishments. I know money may be an issue.
I think, however, that one of the jobs of the athletic director is to keep trying to fill the coaching slots with excellent coaches who produce excellent records. Right now I don't see Alford's teams being as successful on the court to match the the level of talent being brought in. I don't think it's any secret to say that UCLA basketball hasn't been anywhere near excellent in the last five years. They've been better than mediocre, but is that the goal?
To see the latest (and it's just the latest) example of this all one has to do is look no further back then the Bruins' last game. That team had no plan, no idea, no resources to overcome a much less talented team. Giving the ball to Holiday and hope he can single-handedly penetrate the entire opponent's zone and somehow carry the Bruins to victory is not a viable plan. But if that's all one has then that's what one is reduced to. I wouldn't call that a well coached, well prepared team. And then look to the last game of the previous season. Same story. If Lonzo was hurt they appeared to have no way to absorb the loss, adjust and adapt with all the other talented players they had on the team, and find a way to maximize collectively what they possessed and find a way to win or even be competitive - like in the '95 national championship game, or the '64 semi-final game (I think that was the year). Well coached teams know how to adapt. Good coaches produce well coached teams. You draw the logical conclusion here.
Some may say that these are unfair viewpoints, but that's what a good coach is expected to do. I can't recall one season as a player, or a coach, or even a spectator where something unexpected didn't occur, or an unfortunate injury didn't happen, or one's team didn't encounter an overachieving team on some given night, or the match ups just weren't good. Good well coached well prepared teams routinely overcome these kinds of obstacles.
A well coached team can often overcome these obstacles because the coaching is thorough in depth and breadth, players are thoroughly prepared for many scenarios, and they are instilled with the confidence that they can get the job done through physical and mental developments. Good players can rise to an occasion and good coaches should be able to help his players get there through various coaching techniques. I just haven't seen enough of those qualities in Alford's teams generally over his UCLA tenure. Alford is the constant here. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm to the point now that I don't really expect his teams to play tough, determined, deliberate, well rounded, fundamental ball.
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