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2/9 Steve Alford UCLA Basketball Presser

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Steve Alford's Tuesday Press Conference proves that Steve Alford is Stubborn

Apparently Steve Alford wants Jonah Bolden to do this
Apparently Steve Alford wants Jonah Bolden to do this
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Sigh.  Steve Alford's press conference this afternoon was a bit depressing.  It is obvious that Steve Alford does not get it.  He has made a change to Jonah Bolden and Gyrgory Goloman at four but he is still trying to fit square pegs in round holes.

But first on the other points:

  • Steve Alford talked about the "need for more spirit, as emotion" is "kinda the trick."  He talked about how this team is too quiet.  I guess he misses Kyle Anderson (a coach on the floor) and Norman Powell (who gave a great speech in the locker room.)
  • Alex Olesinski is still not a 100% but he should be available in Arizona.
  • Aaron Holiday's decision making has improved.  Aaron received some much deserved praise though it was more in his shot selection.

The big news is the discussion of the four or as Steve Alford prefers to call it the "stretch four."  Alford does not commit to Jonah Bolden remaining in the starting lineup.   He says everything is "we'll see" in practice.  He goes on to add that Jonah is Rebounding and defending well.

Then when the discussion is of offense he talks about Jonah needing to be a stretch four,  Pick and Pop and pick and roll.

Okay, here is my huge problem.  Jonah is a nightmare at pick and pop.   This is the worst part of Jonah's game.  Thomas Welsh is actually pretty good at this which is why Big Big could work on offense.  Why not have Bolden post (and play 4 on defense) and Welsh play four (and pick and pop on offense) and play center on defense?

Jonah is probably the most talented athlete on the team when you figure in height, strength, relative speed, etc.  Jonah showed he is a very good passer in the post in the Gonzaga game when he was in the post against a good big and fundamentally solid Gonzaga team.

Yet against USC Jonah took one shot, an "air bank" three.  Jonah is not a threat outside.  Shoot if I am an opponent I let Jonah shoot outside and love a pick and pop play involving him as that is arguably even harder than a set three.

Alford also compares Jonah to Kevon Looney on the ability to take the ball and go on the break.  Something we could not do with Big Big.  This is fine and under the category of nice but not important. Kevon was also NBA ready prior to his injury and a good three shooter when left alone.  Jonah is not NBA ready or a good three shooter.

Then in possible the stupidest statement of all he talks about how when Bolden "plays big guard he can post."  So let me get this straight, when he is playing the three, he can post.  When he is playing power forward he is supposed to shoot outside?!??!

I realize he is talking also about matchups.  But here is the thing.  Against Arizona we won against them playing big big.  Why not try it again? Or Jonah is so quick for a four and such a good passer against a double team that he could be dangerous as a post against a four or even five.  He isn't a danger against the student manager as a pick and pop.

Alford made one change in starting Bolden and going to "stretch four" instead of Big Big.  But really he did not change a thing as Welsh can be a stretch four on offense.

Steve you have talent but you can't make them into something they are not.  Yes, we are better on defense with Jonah on the floor, but psst. we could be almost as good on offense if you used Jonah right. Or even better play the matchups.

Go Bruins!