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UCLA Men’s Basketball Coach Steve Alford Gets His Year Back with a Contract Extension from a Happy AD

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Steve Alford is now under contract through 2021.

UAB v UCLA
Steve Alford has reasons to smile today
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

After a disastrous 2015-16 season that was the worst ever for a third year UCLA basketball coach*, Steve Alford gave up one year of his contract extension. After a year that was everything UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero wanted, Steve Alford is getting it back:

"Steve did an outstanding job, helping to produce one of the nation's most exciting offensive teams in recent memory," Guerrero said. "There was a significant buzz about UCLA basketball around town and among the sellout crowds in Pauley Pavilion. As such, he certainly earned back the one-year extension that he had voluntarily returned prior to the season. We are looking forward to seeing what 2017-18 brings."

Keep in mind, when Guerrero fired Ben Howland and seemingly out of nowhere shockingly named Steve Alford coach, Guerrero promised Alford would be “up-tempo“ instead of the much more defensive minded Ben Howland. It took four seasons, but last year was beautiful offensive basketball.

But it wasn’t Alford’s best season with a third place finish in Pac-12 and his third Sweet 16 in four years. In his first year with a Ben Howland team, he finished second in the Pac-12 and won the conference tournament, as well as going to the Sweet 16. That year, led by Kyle Anderson, not last year with Lonzo Ball, is still his best.

This raises a number of issues and questions.

1. I am a huge fan of Kyle Anderson but Lonzo Ball was/is a much better player. Did Steve Alford underachieve with last year’s team? Or put another way, did Alford take a Final Four team to third in the conference and a Sweet 16?

2. Last year was “fun” on offense. But basketball is more than just passing and shooting. It is also rebounding and defense. Ben Howland in his fourth year had taken UCLA to two Final Fours and two conference championships with a defense first approach. Guerrero certainly got what he wanted, up tempo basketball, but what about winning the Pac-12 and competing for a championship?

Guerrero is happy with UCLA basketball. In his mind, his goal is met of not having to hire another basketball coach before he retires.

UCLA fans, are you happy? Do you think great offense is enough? Is the Sweet 16 and finishing in the top 4 in the Pac-12 most years enough?

*=post-Wooden

Poll

Do you agree with Dan Guerrero’s decision to give Steve Alford a contract extension?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Yes, I trust Dan Guerrero’s judgment. He’s a great AD!
    (18 votes)
  • 21%
    Yes, Alford earned it back after last season.
    (90 votes)
  • 22%
    No, last season’s results were due to Lonzo Ball.
    (94 votes)
  • 51%
    No, it’s time for a new AD!
    (215 votes)
417 votes total Vote Now