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Bryce Alford On Pace To Set UCLA Career Marks

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If Bryce Alford stays injury free and continues to play at his current pace, he is likely to hold at least two UCLA career records by the time he leaves Westwood.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of the 2014-15 basketball season, I noted that Bryce Alford had played the second most minutes in a single season in UCLA basketball history since 1979. Remarkably, Alford nearly claimed the top spot on the all-time single season list even though he played three fewer games than the leader, Russell Westbrook (2007-08).

The 2015-16 UCLA Men's Basketball Media Guide includes lists of UCLA's career and single season leaders in a variety of categories. Here's the top-10 in minutes played in a single season:

Rank Player Year Games Minutes
1 Russell Westbrook 2007-08 39 1318
2 Bryce Alford 2014-15 36 1307
3 Arron Afflalo 2005-06 39 1303
4 Josh Shipp 2007-08 39 1269
5 Norman Powell 2014-15 36 1244
6 Larry Drew II 2012-13 35 1243
7 Isaac Hamilton 2014-15 36 1222
8 Tyus Edney 1992-93 33 1207
9 Kyle Anderson 2013-14 36 1196
10 Arron Afflalo 2006-07 36 1186

With Bryce Alford averaging even more minutes per game this season (36.7 minutes/game) than last season (36.3 minutes/game), I decided it was worthwhile trying to project career stats for Bryce to see if he was on pace to set new UCLA career marks.

As it turns out, subject to certain assumptions outlined below, if Alford continues to amass playing time at his current rate, he will hold UCLA's career record for minutes played by the time he leaves Westwood. But that's not the only career record that he may claim. Again, subject to certain assumptions, Alford is a good bet to set a new UCLA mark for career 3-point field goals attempted, and may also have a shot at establishing a UCLA career record for games played. Details of current UCLA career records and the outline of my projections for Alford's career marks are given below.

I also give a summary of UCLA single season records that Alford has a chance to break. Aside from the two single season records that he already holds, the only new record that he could realistically challenge is Russell Westbrook's record for minutes played in a single season. However, unless the Bruins end up in the NIT in the postseason, Alford will likely have to beat Westbrook's mark in a fewer number of games.

UCLA Career Records

Games Played, Career

UCLA's career leader in games played is Michael Roll who appeared in 147 games.

Through two seasons, Bryce Alford has played in 73 games--37 in 2013-14 and 36 in 2014-15. That puts Alford on pace to appear in 146 games for his career, one shy of Roll's record. However, the number of games that the Bruins play in a season depends on postseason success. In addition to staying injury-free, the Bruins will have to enjoy success in the conference tournament and either the NCAA Tournament or the NIT for Alford to surpass Roll's record for career games.

For what it's worth, Darren Collison and Alfred Aboya are tied for second on the career list with 142 games played. Bryce Alford's current pace will place him second on the all-time list.

Minutes Played, Career

Earl Watson

Photo Credit: @UCLAMBB (https://twitter.com/UCLAMBB/status/584065459579850753)

UCLA's all-time leader in career minutes played is Earl Watson. Watson played 4,371 minutes during four seasons of the Steve Lavin era.

I've taken a conservative approach in trying to project Bryce Alford's career minutes played. Alford is averaging 36.7 minutes/game so far in 2015-16. If I assume that (1) his average drops slightly (to 35 minutes/game) over the course of the season, and (2) that the Bruins manage to play in only three postseason games (1 win, 2 losses), then Alford will play approximately 1200 minutes in 2014-15. If he plays a similar number of minutes as a senior, then Alford will end his UCLA career with 4560+ minutes, which would obliterate Earl Watson's record.

I don't know how realistic my assumptions are about Alford's future playing time. However, my conservative projection of Alford's career playing time based on the current trend leads me to believe that Alford will claim Watson's record as long as he stays injury-free.

Minutes Played Per Game, Career

It would be very difficult for Alford to pass Pooh Richardson on the list of career leaders in minutes per game. Richardson averaged 35.3 minutes/game in four years at UCLA. Because Alford averaged 23.1 minutes/game as a freshman, he would need to average nearly 40 minutes/game for the rest of his career to equal Richardson's average.

However, if I use the same conservative assumptions based on current trends to project career minutes and career games for Alford, he's likely to finish his UCLA career with a minutes per game average similar to Arron Afflalo's and Don MacLean's and Toby Bailey's 32.7 minutes/game. If Alford averages better than 32.7 minutes/game, he could end up fourth (or higher) on the career list. Even if he averages slightly less than 32.7 minutes/game, that would still place him eighth on the career list, ahead of Kyle Anderson (31.6 minutes/game), Ralph Jackson (31.5 minutes/game), and Charles O'Bannon (31.5 minutes/game).

3- Point Field Goals Attempted, Career

Jason Kapono

Photo Credit: @LosAngelesSRH (https://twitter.com/LosAngelesSRH/status/631918574802571264)

Jason Kapono tops the career list in 3-point field goal attempts with 710 attempts in four years. In his first two seasons, Bryce Alford had 360 3-point field goal attempts. If he continues to shoot 3-pointers at his current (2015-16) pace of 5.1 attempts/game--which is far below his rate of 6.6 attempts per game last season--then, using the same conservative assumptions as before, Alford will tally another 360 attempts in his final two seasons. That projection would give him a total of 720 3-point attempts for his career, which would make Alford UCLA's all-time leader in career 3-point field goal attempts.

3- Point Field Goals Made, Career

Kapono is also UCLA's career leader in 3-point field goals made with 317. Alford's 3-point field goal percentage has been remarkably consistent year-to-year; his percentages by year are 38.5% (2013-14), 39.1% (2014-15), and 37.5% (2015-16, so far). If we assume that he will average 39% for his final two seasons, then Alford will finish his career with 280 3-point field goals made. That will earn him the second spot on UCLA's career list.

3-Point Field Goal Percentage, Career

At his current pace, Alford will not crack UCLA's top-10 in career 3-point field goal percentage. Pooh Richardson is UCLA's career leader at 46.4%. The top-5 is rounded out by Jason Kapono (44.6%), Reggie Miller (43.9%), Darren Collison (43.5%), and Michael Roll (41.7%). The tenth position is held by Billy Knight, who averaged 40.3%.

If his 3-point shooting percentage improves, Alford has a chance to earn a spot in the top-10, but it seems very unlikely that he will manage to move into one of the top four places.

Free Throw Percentage, Career

Rod Foster is the Bruins' career leader in free throw percentage; he averaged 88.0% from the charity stripe during his four years at UCLA. Bryce Alford's career percentage is currently 82.4%. If he maintains that average, Alford will earn a spot in the top-10 in career percentage, ahead of Nikola Dragovic (82.1%) and behind Jason Kapono (83.0%).

Assists, Career

UCLA's career assist leader is Pooh Richardson by a large margin. His 833 career assists put him well ahead of Tyus Edney (652), Darrick Martin (636), Earl Watson (607), and Darren Collison (577).

Alford does not have a realistic chance of pass Pooh Richardson, but he could displace Tyus Edney to claim the second spot on the career list. If Alford  continues to average 5.1 assists/game (his current rate) over the next two seasons, he'll likely finish his career with 600+ assists, which will land him in UCLA's top-5 in career assists.

Assists Per Game, Career (minimum 60 games) (since 1974)

Not surprisingly, Pooh Richardson holds the top-spot on the career assists per game list at 6.8 APG. At his current pace, Alford will finish his UCLA career with an average of roughly 4.5 APG, which would land him the ninth spot on UCLA's career list.

UCLA Single Season Records

Minutes Played, Single Season (since 1979)

Russell Westbrook

Photo Credit: @UCLAMBB (https://twitter.com/UCLAMBB/status/676855052485713920)

The list of UCLA's single season leaders in minutes played (since 1979) is headed by Russell Westbrook. In 2007-08, Westbrook played a total of 1318 minutes in 39 games (33.8 minutes/game).

Bryce Alford is second on the all-time list; he played 1307 minutes last season in 36 games to average 36.3 minutes/game. So far this season, Alford is averaging 36.7 minutes/game. In order to surpass Westbrook's single season mark, Alford would have to appear in 36 games, which would require the Bruins to win 4 postseason games. That could easily happen if UCLA ends up in the NIT. It could also happen if the Bruins play in the NCAA Tournament, though that postseason path would make it a harder target to hit.

Minutes Played Per Game, Single Season (since 1979)

Although Bryce Alford's 36.3 minutes/game last year is good for eighth on the all-time single-season list, that mark still leaves him well behind Reggie Miller's 38.3 minutes/game average in 1985-86. Even if Alford maintains his 36.7 minutes/game average this season, that would only be good enough for fifth on the list behind Miller, Pooh Richardson (37.6 minutes/game in 1988-89), Roy Hamilton (36.9 minutes/game in 1978-79), and Ralph Jackson (36.8 minutes/game in 1983-84).

3- Point Field Goals Attempted, Single Season

Bryce Alford already holds this record. His 238 3-point field goal attempts in 2014-15 put him ahead of Arron Afflalo's 232 attempts in in 2006-07.

3- Point Field Goals Made, Single Season

Bryce Alford already holds the record. In 2014-15, Alford hit 93 3-pointers to give him UCLA's single season record. Arron Afflalo (2006-07) and Jason Kapono (2001-02) are tied for second with 87 3-pointers.

Assists Per Game, Single Season (since 1974)

Bryce Alford is currently averaging 5.1 assists/game, his highest average in his three seasons. However, that average does not place him anywhere near the single season top-10. Pooh Richardson is the single season record holder with 7.61 APG in 1988-89. Darrick Martin's 6.03 APG qualifies him for the tenth spot.

Free Throw Percentage, Single Season

Rod Foster holds the UCLA single season record with an amazing 95.0% in 1981-82. Bryce Alford is currently shooting 82.7% from the charity stripe, which isn't nearly good enough to claim a place in the top-10. Jason Kapono's 85.6% in 2001-02 is good for the tenth best single season mark.

Go BRUINS!