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UCLA Basketball: Alford's Weekly Presser, Looney & More

Steve Alford held his weekly press conference and Kevon Looney explains why he's such a good rebounder.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the bullet points from the Steve Alford/Kevon Looney presser Tuesday afternoon.


  • Disagrees with stat that says there were no fast break baskets against Coastal Carolina (note: there is a fine line - with some fast break stats, like in the live stats, the play almost certainly has to be a steal, or a long pass).

  • One reason Alford likes running is because it plants a seed in the opposition's mind that you have to defend the transition, and therefore let up on the offensive boards.

  • Back-handed compliment to the bench: the starters can all score, and the bench will continue to develop.

  • It's taking time for the team to develop due to the new faces, being forced away from Pauley onto a shorter court and Wannah and Tony were given time off this summer because they hadn't been home in a while.

  • Will play five games in eight days with only four practices this week and one next week.

  • Zone is further ahead than the man defense.

  • Welsh is anxious because he wants to succeed so badly. He needs to relax more.

  • Tony got doubled by Coastal Carolina. He has to see it coming and pass out of it.


  • Not shooting as well as he wants to from the field.  If he gets better, he can spread the floor for the others.

  • On what it takes to be a good rebounder: a motor (always keep moving), boxing out (AMEN KEVON), a good feel for where the ball is going and willingness to mix it up down low.

  • Has a competition going with Tony Parker for who gets the most rebounds. Tony says they box him out first so Kevon gets the rebound scott-free.

  • Ran 1-3-1 a lot in high school. He played all five positions, and is very comfortable with it.

  • Says best bet against Bruins is to try to slow them down, but he thinks the they will get "very dangerous" in the half-court as the season goes on.

In other news:

Interesting scores from the last couple of days for our upcoming competitors:

  • Utah 49, San Diego St 53

  • Colorado 90, Auburn 59

  • Alabama 80, Western Carolina 74

  • Kentucky 72, Kansas 40

  • Gonzaga 72, SMU 56

Kentucky, Geez. Well, there's Alabama -- December won't be a total disaster. And more:

  • Oklahoma plays Creighton on Wednesday night. Speaking of the Sooners, Houston transfer TaShawn Thomas received a waiver from the NCAA to be eligible to play immediately. I don't get this one.  Although Houston had fired its coach, Thomas  graduates NEXT May. Oklahoma already brought back four starters from last season.

  • Grantland goes long in a (late) PAC-12 preview.  The article is mostly about Arizona, but they ranked the Bruins #3 behind Arizona and Utah.

  • UCLA made 2015 guard Brandon Sampson's final five, but he will not sign until April.

  • "No one was able to guard me." That's Kareem on why he's not mentioned in the top 5 or so greats (weird...most people I know do). Fans and players apparently think it was too easy for Kareem.