For the first time since 2012, UCLA had no one selected in the NBA draft. While it also happen in 2010 it was only the third time in the last 20 years. However, it is another sign of an alarming trend under Steve Alford. Alford has the worst third year record of any Coach in UCLA history (since pre-Wooden days) and now is doing terribly recruiting and developing talent.
While producing NBA players is not the end game for a UCLA coach it is a necessary element of success. A comparison of coaches in their third seasons with their draft picks. Source: Basketball RealGM.
Ben Howland's Third Season was 2006
- Jordan Farmar (First Round)
- Ryan Hollins (Second Round)
Steve Lavin third season was 1999
- Baron Davis (First Round, third pick)
Jim Harrick, third season was 1991. Finished second in the PAC 12 but did not have a player drafted. Note, the next season he had two first round picks in Senior Don MacLean and Tracy Murray
Walt Hazzard third season was 1987
- Reggie Miller (First Round)
- Jack Haley (Fourth Round*)
- Montel Hatcher (Seventh Round*)
Larry Farmer's third season was 1984
- Kenny Fields(First Round)
- Stuart Gray (Second Round)
- Ralph Jackson (Fourth Round*)
*=Draft round that no longer exists
Of the coaches who made it to their third season only Alford and Harrick did not have a player drafted. Lavin and Hazzard had their best players drafted (Baron Davis and Reggie Miller) in their third seasons.
Having no one drafted is not the end. But coupled with having the worst season in UCLA basketball history without injuries, a coaching change, or massive injuries/transfers is a bad sign.
Meanwhile UW has two players selected in the first round and the PAC 12 had three in the top 10. This is not a case of no talent in the west or it being hard to recruit here.
Lonzo Ball is a lock to be drafted next year so Alford should not be the first coach to miss two years in a row. That said in three years, only one true Alford recruit has been drafted, Kevon Looney. Isaac Hamilton seems like a long shot and since they like athletes that do or have the potential to play defense Bryce Alford is a no way in heck.
Most interestingly may be Jonah Bolden. Bolden is the kind of athlete the NBA likes these days. Can Alford develop him? That may be the key for Alford on a number levels this next season.
As of now, failing to develop players worthy of being drafted in the NBA is another failure of Steve Alford. Why is he still our coach Mr. Guerrero?