Steve Alford has been an epic fail on the recruiting trail since being gifted the head coaching position by UCLA's incompetent athletic director this past spring. His "accomplishments" to date include putting his son on scholarship and pimping him for starting pg job at UCLA (the kid who had no offers from any other D-1 program besides his Dad's school), bringing in a project from Texas Tech massive academic baggage (who has yet to qualify for UCLA), and getting a commitment from shooting guard (where UCLA already has two good players) thanks to hiring his Indiana high school coach on the staff.
UCLA's biggest position of need (that was neglected by the previous coach in his last year) is a pg. For this position Alford has already lost to a coaching fraud like Steve Lavin and to a mid-major program (Gonzaga) for recruits (Rysheed Jordan and Josh Perkins). Bruins are in desperate need for a pg and when Howland was let go we had hoped that Bruins would work towards re-establishing the program by anchoring the current recruiting class around a blue chip pg from Southern California. Much like how Howland initially rebuilt his program around JF and AA, we had hope that Alford would manage to bring in perhaps the best pg from Southern California - Jordan McLaughlin.
From what we heard McLaughlin was interested in UCLA. Yet it appears he was never enamored with Alford and it certainly didn't help that Alford spent UCLA's recruiting resources and attention going after national recruits. So it's not surprising to see this humiliating (and potentially devastating) recruiting news from the trail:
Jordan McLaughlin to USC ... http://t.co/EuEW935CTR— Evan Daniels (@EvanDanielsFOX) September 11, 2013
Anyway you slice it - losing out on best pg from Southern California to a joke program that has been mostly in the gutter - is a humiliating and embarrassing setback for Alford.
Remember we fired Ben Howland because he could no longer recruit from Southern California (given his toxic reputation in the local hoops community). The idea was to bring in a great to a very good basketball coach, who'd be a dynamic recruiter and be able to reestablish UCLA's presence in our backyard. And after few months the answer seems to be that t Alford is just as bad as Howland was (in his later years in Westwood) when it comes to recruiting in Southern California. EPIC FAIL.
There is no way to spin around this. Oh way, yes we can spin this! Let's try it - but but we won a baseball championship!!! Hey, did you know Alford is from Indiana where he played in front of huge high school crowds over 10,000! Don't forget about Jim Mora (although from what we hear the guy recruited himself to be our football coach and is not exactly fond of Chianti and his stooges).
Maybe Alford will still get lucky and get someone like Quentin Snider, but to lose one of west coast's best pg (who went to DC's high school) to Just$C's never-was, mostly irrelevant basketball is an embarrassing blow and new low Chianti's Hoosier Loser.