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UCLA Basketball: Steve Alford Presser -- On the Road, Tony Parker And Bryce

Alford's Tuesday presser was mainly about the Bruins proving themselves on the road, Tony Parker, but one brave beat writer asked one of the big questions about Bryce.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports



The Bruins go on the road for three straight games albeit tomorrow night's game is just a few miles Southeast on the freeway. Steve Alford said it's time his team actually deliver results on the road. Why have they struggled away from Pauley? The teams were better -- especially defensively. True, but they were really horrible from Chicago to Salt Lake City including easier stops in Boulder and Tuscaloosa.

The beat reporters seem to be probing about Alford's game strategy which led to a long discussion on Tony.Parker. Is he no longer just a secondary part of the game plan, and how did he improve? Alford says Tony is more assertive (demanding the ball) and his positioning has gotten better which resulted in better defense and fewer fouls (someone explain to me about the "open stance" not being good). Practicing against Thomas Welsh, a "legit" center, has helped.

Speaking of Thomas, Alford acknowledges that the game needs to slow down for him. He did have props for GG.

One brave reporter asked Alford one of the burning questions: "why does Bryce dribble around the baseline, and leave his feet?" Alford said the coaches are talking to him about it, and they are watching tape on Steve Nash. I was thinking about Nash -- he did probe, but most kids are taught not to do it. I don't think I'd say: "You can be Steve Nash some day -- do it like he did."

Alford diverted to Isaac Hamilton who seems to have picked up a similar bad habit. In Isaac's case, its not dribbling around the baseline, but he over-penetrates down the lane, picks up his dribble, and then flings the ball at the basket. Last Thursday, he did have a beautiful game-clinching pass to Tony underneath.

Finally, did Tony Parker actually draw a charge on Wallace? Alford says no -- he was just in the way, and got lucky.