This week may be an interesting week for what the Steve Alford UCLA Bruins look like. How much of a role is Bryce Alford going to play seems to be question number 1. As we have been saying, he is not just the coach's son.
His younger son was performing spectacular feats, and scoring at a rate rarely, if ever, witnessed before in New Mexico.
La Cueva senior Bryce Alford set the state's single-season scoring record with 1,050 points, eclipsing a mark that stood for half a century. He broke the record in a state-quarterfinal loss to Las Cruces. Alford was, by far, the most compelling athlete on the state's hardwood floors. He might have been the most compelling athlete in any sport.
The future UCLA Bruin even managed a 52-point effort against Eldorado.
Of course, New Mexico is not exactly a high school hot bed of future stars. We may have a better idea of how good Bryce is soon as he was also selected to try out for the USA Under 19 World Championship Team. If he makes this team, we will have to remove the "New Mexico" caveat.
But bigger than what may happen to Bryce, is the rumor of what will happen this week. There are rumors that UCLA may soon be adding a player to their roster for this season. There is much more we do not know than what we do. We know what the player will not be:
Alford said a few weeks ago that JUCO transfers were not a priority.
We also hope the player is not a shooting guard. That would not make sense although UCLA needs a body desperately. A team needs 10 players for practice. After that it gets interesting. While most are hoping for a point guard, some are hoping for a big. If we do add a big, what will that do to Tony Parker?
It is easy to say Parker should have played more last year. It is harder to say Parker is now our starting Center and our only true post now.
Q: How is Tony Parker developing? Does it appear he might be able to start at center next year?
Almost all accounts are positive, with better conditioning being the main focus early on. I think there's still a lot of work for him to do to secure a starting spot by the season opener, but he has plenty of time until then.
It would be nice to have another true inside player. Of course how Parker would deal with that is another question. But the fact remains UCLA really needs another recruit and also needs help inside.
In a sense Bryce Alford was Coach Alford's first recruit. This week we may find out his second.