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Should UCLA's Steve Alford Stay Or Should He Go?

How Does A Team With A Lock On Tenth Place In The Pac-12 Answer The Classic Question Posed By The Clash? Should He Stay Or Should He Go?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

We are sitting at 15-15 after another routine beat-down by an ordinary team. (Those who watched the alleged game know that Oregon was, at best, nothing more than ordinary.) The season isn't over. We still have a chance to win the NCAA championship. We can even lose to Oregon State. All we need to do is win our last ten games. Strange things have happened in sports. As of February 24, something called "Bovada" said our odds were "+20,000" which was the same as Florida and Michigan, and better than quite a few other teams. Something called "Team Rankings LLC" does not have us in their top 68. It's sort of difficult to find us (scroll way, way down), but they give us a 3% chance of getting a bid, and a fairly low chance of winning the championship. What percent you ask? Well, it isn't very high.

Let's assume that our guys prove the experts wrong, and we win the NCAA championship. Some person in authority, I don't know who, suggested that we should not accept in winning what we would not accept in losing. Right now, we are becoming all too familiar with losing, but we seem to be accepting it. I see a rising sentiment in favor of firing the guy currently in charge here in the BN, but it looks anything but unanimous. A year ago, I asked the BN to come up with reasons why the guy currently in charge should be retained, and the community came up with 35.

1. He hasn't been given enough time to [insert what he wasn't given enough time to do].

2. Coach didn't have a championship season for his first seventeen years.

3. He didn't have a deep bench.

4. He has a great recruiting class coming in for next year.

5. He didn't have a true point guard.

6. Coaches get better over time.

7. He should get better athletes just because he's at UCLA.

8. The negativity hurts UCLA's ability to recruit good players.

9. You give a modern-day basketball coach 3 years.

10. He has taken the Bruins to the Sweet Sixteen two years in a row, which is something that better coaches haven't done.

11. He is highly competitive and passionate about basketball.

12. He's brave.

13. It's not his fault that he got hired when he wanted a job.

14. He's cut from the same cloth as Wooden.

15. He respects Wooden's history, loves the game of basketball, and is highly competitive.

16. Our teams look more organized.

17. A change of system has been instituted but isn't yet polished.

18. The games were, on the whole, more watchable.

19. We are not at 13 scholarships; we were at 7 scholarships.

20. Bringing in the 3 guys he's going to bring in with maybe a few blue chippers will change the appearance of the team.

21. Two Sweet 16s will make recruits realize that with their help he can string together another 2-4 past that.

22. He has grit.

23. 2 Sweet-16s buys him time - he needs to capitalize on the national attention and turn it into recruits.

24. He has shown he is somewhat of a good defensive coach. His use of the 3-2 zone was an effective use of our personnel, given the defensive M2M deficiencies of Bryce and long arms of Looney.

25. We have not yet seen what Alford can do with his ideal personnel/roster.

26. He has shown with enough talent, he can outcoach Sean Miller. He also beat SMU, a well-coached team.

27 He and his assistant seem to be good / better than any recent UCLA coach at developing their players.

28. He has a better record in his first two years than Coach Howland.

29. Firing a coach after two years and 2 Sweet Sixteen finishes would make future high-quality coaches think twice about the job.

30. He recruited Looney.

31. He turned Norman Powell into a #1/2 offensive option to replace Jordan's scoring.

32. He made Bryce a much better player, mostly in offense to replace scoring.

33. He significantly improved Tony Parker.

34. He ran a 3-2 zone.

35. And last, but not least, thanks to Floydo, "It's the hair."

What is the feeling of the BN now? Are there any new reasons why he should be retained? Should any be stricken from the list? (Number 9 should go, because he's had his third year.) I personally don't think his hair (number 35) is good enough to warrant his retention. So what about it? Are there more reasons to be added to the list? I will add one, and it's a good one: If the guy currently in charge is fired tomorrow, then the same guy who hired him would hire his replacement, and that would almost certainly mean we would end up with someone worse.

Can we answer the question -- should he stay or should he go? Go means go now, if not today, then certainly not beyond midnight of the last day of our season.

One more question. If you think he should be retained, will you explain why? I promise that you won't be insulted. We are your brothers and sisters. We want to persuade you to see the light. If you still think the guy currently in charge is the guy we need we will still love you but we might drop you from the Christmas Card list for a year or so.

(My limited computer skills are such that I could have linked to the Clash's song, but I just can't do it. I just can't. I couldn't under ordinary circumstance, and I certainly can't in a post with an allusion to a Gilbert & Sullivan song. I hope you understand.)