I do not understand this one. We play the ultimate football school, Alabama, in a basketball game home and away series.
UCLA's preseason schedule continues to fill up, with the latest development being a home-and-home series with Alabama (per CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein). The Crimson Tide, who finished 23-13 last season and lost to Maryland in the NIT quarterfinals, will play at Pauley Pavilion this upcoming fall.
The St. John's and Texas series of recent years made some sense. They had some marque value and some chances to recruit for UCLA. (Texas has some basketball players and New York obviously does.) But Alabama is a state that could care less about basketball and Alabama is a team that is defense first, second and third.
While according to Dan Guerrero beating Texas last year was "huge" and TV loves UCLA playing Lavin (which if we won both as we should have would have been a nice public relations boost for UCLA), I just don't see an upside to playing at Alabama.
As a small aside Alabama is a defense first team that tries to slow things down, they only averaged 63 points a game last year. In their games against ranked opponents they scored 56,68, 52 and 51 points. The 68 was against Missouri team that UCLA beat last year and as we saw that team was not that interested in defense.
Alabama ranked 17 in the country in total team defense as well. If the idea was to have more exciting looking teams, Alabama also makes no sense. Furthermore, they should be getting most of their NIT team back this year, so at first blush this is likely a solid, experienced, defense first team UCLA will be matching up against. I would argue that is not the kind of team Alford wants to play against next year and further not the kind of more exciting basketball that Guerrero wants UCLA play supposedly.
I just don't get it.