Putting aside my feelings on Steve Alford the coach as a fit for UCLA, I have mixed feelings about Alford the recruiter. However, I had no mixed feelings about Trevon Bluiett. Trevon to me seemed like just the kind of kid you want in a program. A higher rated Jordan Adams or Michael Roll type who really does whatever it takes to win. Now it looks like Alford may have lost him:
The 6-6 Bluiett, ranked No. 46 nationally in the 2014 class by Rivals.com, informed UCLA assistant Ed Schilling, his former high school coach at Park Tudor, in person after an open gym on Thursday.
. . .UCLA became a major player for Bluiett when new coach Steve Alford hired Schilling. Before making his commitment on Sept. 2, Bluiett had cut his list to Arizona, Butler, Indiana, Michigan, Purdue, UCLA and Xavier.
I say Alford lost him because Ed Schilling got him to come to UCLA. Schilling, who by all accounts is a good assistant, worked hard to get the commitment of Bluiett, attending his games and working with the family. Although the official reason will be "distance," I am not buying it. The kid did not get homesick before even coming.
As Nestor pointed out, it is not just Alford is bad at press, he is not the best at interfacing with recruits either. UCLA was leading with California point guard Jordan McLaughlin at one point until Alford lost him to USC. Schilling delivered a good kid and Alford lost him.
More later. Losing a kid that appears to be the type you really want in your program is never good. For this to happen at the start of the Alford era is worse.