This hasn't been shared yet here on BN but it's another story worth tracking. ICYMI John Calipari tweeted at Steve Alford earlier last week:
Let's welcome @UCLACoachAlford to Twitter. We are planning big things between our programs.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) August 8, 2013
Annie Dubar from the College Spun noted that following Calapari's tweet, Kentucky Sports Radio's Matt Jones indicated that a "deal is nearly done" between UCLA and Kentucky for a "showdown" beginning in 2014-15:
John Calipari hinting that Kentucky will play UCLA in basketball soon. From what I understand, that deal is all but done starting in 2014-15— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) August 8, 2013
I am not sure how we feel about this.
Scheduling a home-and-home with UK means opening up the Southern California's recruiting front to Calipari. Of course it's nice to have UCLA mentioned in national headlines by scheduling other hoops powers. Alford has already scheduled a "neutral" court matchup with Duke at MSG this year (which is as "neutral" venue as playing Texas in Jerry Dome in Dallas). But these matchups won't matter much if Alford doesn't have any immediate success on the recruiting trail and follows it up with a big season in his first year.
Just getting to the tourney and getting bounced will not be good enough given that we just fired a coach after winning the PAthetiC-12 conference and getting drubbed in the first round (something Alford has a lot of experience with as a coach).
To date Alford has done absolutely nothing in terms of securing our recruiting backyard as UCLA hasn't received a single commitment from any of the elite local recruits. Forget getting a commitment, right now it's unclear whether Alford is even leading in the recruiting for any of the local prospects in his abysmal start to his undeserved hiring in Westwood.
So yes, let's keep an eye on the scheduling front. This kind of news would be exciting if there were clear signs that UCLA basketball is headed back to where it belongs. Right now we have none of that with what looks like a lackluster and lifeless start for Alford at UCLA.