Putting it mildly Steve Alford's press conference tonight makes me do a head slap. More realistically, I am furious. It took this late in the season for Alford to finally realize what I thought before the season. In response to a question at the press conference tonight on how well Jonah Bolden is playing:
"Guys [are] playing their roles in the position we like. When we're big-big, we were messing around with Jonah at the four spot and the three spot. That was hard on him. He is getting adjusted to it. ... Jonah has hit his stride now . . . and making a difference."
I have been screaming about this from day one. Jonah is not a three or big guard. Even if he was, UCLA needed a four. Yet Steve Alford admits he was "messing" around with Jonah.
This is not a fantasy sports team nor is it rec league with the guys. This is a kid's career and your job. How dare you "mess around" with a kid!
He even admits that he should have known better. Last year after a similar year without competitive basketball, Isaac Hamilton was forced to play the two guard and point. Isaac was very uncomfortable and not suited to be a point. Last year, UCLA was desperate in that there was no backup point. This year there is a backup three in Prince Ali who is the second best athlete on the team. There was no reason for messing around with Bolden at the three. As Alford says Jonah's struggles were:
Very similar to what we saw last year with Isaac.
Why? Why? Why?
He also talks about GG and Bolden playing four together. That to me is frustrating.
Not to toot my own horn but Alford finally admitted what I said before the season on playing Parker and Welsh together can work on offense but not on D :
Tom and Tony are different [and it can work on offense because of that.] That is how we got away with it really for a little bit especially in the non-conference playing big big because they are different. . . . The hard part was defensively, it was almost impossible for us to defend.
I knew this before the season and said it before the Monmouth game, which we lost. Again, Alford why were you messing around with this? Sure go Big-Big some when Bolden was out or while he was learning but for his own sake and the team Bolden had to be only a four from day one. He could have learned in the non-conference. All for a problem anyone with a minimal amount of basketball knowledge knew was coming.
Now Steve you may have blown the season and UCLA's NCAA chances. If you had realized this day one, UCLA would be worried about seeding in the tournament, not about making it.