After a long stretch of radio silence since the loss to Florida, Steve Alford spoke to Ryan Kartje of the O.C. Register and Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated. Although both articles were published this past week, we know the Kartje interview was conducted two weeks ago. BN covered it here and here. We really have to consider these interviews as "friendlies". Not much new. No tough questions.
The teaser tweets were probably more interesting than the OC Register article itself. Of course, Alford still has that surreal confidence in his son:
"He’s a coach on the floor," Alford said of Bryce.
He named his son, along with the senior Powell, as two players who could emerge as team leaders this season. In his first campaign, the younger Alford finished third among Pac-12 freshmen in offensive rating.
About the Isaac Hamilton/NormalPowell/Bryce Alford backcourt triumvirate:
The depth, Alford said, isn’t a huge concern. Not with Powell spending the last few months working tirelessly on his perimeter shooting, or Alford, who will almost certainly begin the season as UCLA’s starting point guard, adding weight and strength to a frame that topped out at 180 pounds as a freshman. Hamilton, who sat out last season after signing a letter of intent at UTEP, is the wild card, but as a former five-star recruit, the expectations are for him to shine.
A lack of experience is somewhat worrisome, but the latter two spent every practice last season in the same backcourt, and Alford expects that familiarity will show through early, with both sharing duties at the helm of UCLA’s offense.
"They complement each other well," Alford said. "Both of them handle it well. Both of them shoot well, can score, and pass it well. That kind of relationship is good going into this year."
The SI Article starts off covering the same old hackneyed Hoosier ground.
The only interesting items (touched on in both articles) of basketball substance were that Alford wonders if the new crop can play up-tempo and that the new bigs should add a back-to-the-basket dimension to the offense:
We’ve got guys that can swing from guard to forward, we’ll have legit centers this year in Tony Parker and Thomas Welsh. I’m hoping we can continue to play as fast as we played a year ago, because I think this is the way our guys like to play. And yet in the half-court maybe we’ll have a little bit more back-to-the-basket presence than what we had last year.
I'm going to be writing more about a potential fifth year grad student, Jon Octeus, who will be visiting campus soon, so I find it odd (not so odd if you read "Alford's Lost Season") that Alford would say this:
He and his staff looked into potential fifth-year transfers, but felt there weren’t many "that fit our needs to play at a high level."