So Steve Alford is having his first presser as the new UCLA head coach at Morgan Center today. ICYMI - here is the tweet that was posted from @UCLAAthletics yesterday:
No doubt he will be rocking out some sort of blue and gold combination, and regal us with stories of his home state and John Wooden. I am guessing Morgan Center will have some canned soundbites prepared for him as they do for all new hires. It will be easier for him since Alford is from Indiana (Dan is so brilliant). We may also be hearing about his heroics as a legendary basketball player at the high school and college level and how he built a "championship" level program at New Mexico.
That's all good and we will give Alford some room while expecting him to show immediate results in recruiting and building a solid foundation for this program. We will get to all that in the due time.
In the meantime the focus needs to be on process. I don't have any confidence in the so called traditional media reporters who cover the UCLA beat or the Los Angles sports media in general. But if any of them did any homework on how this "hiring" went down here are the questions they should be asking Alford and more important to Dan Guerrero today:
Questions for Steve Alford:
- Who first reached out to whom in this hiring process? Was it UCLA or your agent?
- If given the chance, would you handle the Pierre Pierce situation differently?
- Do you have any regrets with how you handled the Pierce situation?
- Before your resignation what were the lessons you learned from your experience as the head coach of Iowa?
- Your career turned around at UNM - what changed?
- Why weren't you able to win more tourney games at UNM?
- Forget the comparisons to John Wooden. Do you believe you can build a program that can put together a higher winning percentage than the one from Jim Harrick?
- Do you believe UCLA should be able to defend its regular season conference championship next season?
- Do you believe you will be able to win banner number 12 or at least put UCLA in position to win one within your first three years in Westwood?
- Do you consider getting to the Final-4 is good enough for a program like UCLA?
- Do you believe a healthy UCLA program should be ranked in the top 5-10 range every season?
- What are your plans to make sure players such as Norman Powell or Tony Parker remain in the program?
- Are you planning to sign a point guard and adding depth to the frontcourt during rest of this recruiting season?
- What are your plans to make sure UCLA is the dominant force in the Southern California recruiting scene?
- Will you consider your son being a walk-on player instead of taking a scholarship if there is a scholarship crunch in your program?
Questions for Dan Guerrero
- When was the first time you thought about putting together a "list" of candidates to replace Ben Howland?
- What was the interview process with Brad Stevens like? Did you make an offer? Was an offer formally presented to Brad Stevens, or were there just discussions?
- Did Stevens decline the job or was it never offered? If never offered why? Did you feel he wouldn't accept - do you think he would have been worth waiting for? If offered did you wait for a final answer, if so why didn't he take the job?
- Did you have any discussions with Shaka Smart? If not, why was there no denial issued in regards to him turning down UCLA?
- No offense to Coach Alford. But he would have always been always there for the taking since no other elite program was rushing to hire him, so why the rush?
- There has been chatter that you weren't able to pursue elite coaching candidates because of restrictions placed by UC Regents setting parameters of coaches salary at $3 million? Were you aware of these restrictions? If you knew in advance did you consider taking steps to secure the necessary approvals to negotiate with candidates of your choice? If you didn't know about the Regent's restrictions was that never a factor in prior searches or something you should have been aware of?
- You mentioned in your during last weekend's teleconference introducing Alford that a search firm was never utilized? Can you tell us why you didn't seek any outside counsel?
- How much and what kind of prepwork you and your staff did in building your list of candidates? How were they vetted?
- Do you believe a longer search, maybe until after the NCAA tournament was over would have yielding additional coaching candidates or was Alford your guy all the way?
- Who did the vetting for your candidates at UCLA? Was it done by officials at UCLA athletics or by someone else? Were you aware of the Pierre Pierce story in Iowa? Did you discuss the Pierce story with Chancellor Block?
- Who first reached out to whom in this hiring process? Was it UCLA or was it Alford's agent? When was the first contact made?
- Did you arrange a face-to-face meeting between Chancellor Block and Alford before extending the final offer? If not, why?
- Do you feel there was pressure to make a hire quickly? If so why?
If you have other questions in mind, share them in the comment thread. This will be the open thread for Alford's introductory presser in Westwood.