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UCLA Basketball: Steve Alford Drives Zach LaVine Away to the NBA

UCLA’s freshman superstar Zach LaVine flees Steve Alford’s program.

Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

He didn't waste any time to run away from the Alfords. Did he?

Jack Wang from the Daily News is reporting what some of us have know for a while. Zach LaVine is gone:

Few think Zach looks pro-ready right now, something not even Paul [LaVine] would argue. However, the larger point of contention is whether or not he would develop effectively with another year at UCLA under coach Steve Alford, particularly if he comes back as a reserve.

Emphasis mine throughout. The comments from the LaVine camp are not pretty (for UCLA):

"It's like a marriage," Paul LaVine said. "If it doesn't work out, you get a divorce. I don't blame anybody."

Zach's godfather, Marvin Carter, credited Alford with coaching up the Bruins through their late-season run, but said he remains disappointed that his godson was left "in limbo" - rarely even given enough feedback.

"He's done a great job getting the players to compete," Carter said of Alford. "I just wish Zach had more of a chance to compete."

Carter ended with this zinger:

"Every year he spends at UCLA after this one is a waste," Carter said. "It really is."

Just wow. Read Wang's whole story here.

We should all wish Zach good luck. When Jrue Holiday bolted for the NBA many of us including yours truly expressed frustration with Jrue for being selfish and leaving early. We didn't care for the chatter that was coming in the background about how deeply unhappy Holiday was in Howland's program.

We are not going to make the same mistake again. If UCLA had a good coach who didn't force minutes for his son at the PG over a pro-caliber player like LaVine (who remained committed to the Bruins despite the coaching change), it'd be reasonable speculate we'd also see a special sophomore season from Zach. Now we will never know what could have happened.

Thanks a lot Dan Guerrero.