If you thought Steve Alford was planning on doing something (read: anything) to keep Aaron Holiday fresh for the entire Pac-12 Tournament, think again. In his weekly press conference today, when asked how he plans to manage Holiday’s minutes now that the team could potentially play three games in three days, Steve Alford replied:
However many games we play, forty. So, if we’re able to advance, it will be forty, forty, forty.
When asked a follow-up question about whether that was a real possibility, Alford responded without hesitation, “Absolutely...Have you seen anything he can’t do?”
My response is that same as Ben Bolch of the LA Times who asked the question: Wow.
That’s because I’ve seen Holiday start making turnovers when he doesn’t get enough rest. And, if that’s Alford’s strategy, I’m afraid UCLA stands very little chance of winning the Pac-12 Tournament.
The correct answer would be to say that he’s going to get Holiday as much rest as possible, even if the truth of the matter is that Holiday plays nearly forty minutes in each game UCLA plays.
Because Alford’s answer, frankly, makes him look like a pompous ass.
It’s one thing to be cocky like that if your team is the top seed in the tournament, but UCLA isn’t.
And, frankly, given UCLA’s record away from Pauley this year, Alford might just want to talk back bulletin board fodder like that.
Here’s his complete interview, courtesy of UCLA Athletics on YouTube.
Meanwhile, the first player up in the player interviews is Aaron Holiday, who discusses playing the forty minutes per game. Of course, he doesn’t see it as that big of a deal. He’s followed by Thomas Welsh and Prince Ali, both of whom talk about the importance of March.
Here’s the players’ full interviews, courtesy of UCLA Athletics on YouTube.
While the Pac-12 Tournament gets underway tomorrow in Las Vegas, UCLA doesn’t play until 2:30 pm on Thursday when they face the winner of tomorrow’s Stanford vs. UC Berkeley game.