The day we have impatiently waited four years for may soon be nigh. Almost everything seems to have finally aligned.
Tom Crean has been fired by Indiana, opening up the head coaching job Steve Alford has probably craved the most since he started coaching at Manchester.
His son Bryce is in the process of playing his final games at UCLA.
After almost being fired last year, Alford looks like a brilliant coach because UCLA has bounced back from one of only four losing seasons since John Wooden became the Bruins’ coach so long ago. But, the fact remains that, with all of LaVar’s bluster aside, Lonzo Ball and, to a lesser extent, TJ Leaf have been the catalysts of the turnaround.
Alford absolutely deserves credit for recruiting Lonzo and TJ to UCLA. Without that, this year’s turnaround doesn’t happen.
But, for four long years, Bruin fans have looked forward to the day when Alford leaves Westwood. And that day may be coming soon.
There are numerous reports that Alford is either significantly interested in the job or is the leading candidate for the job. Justin Albers, the former Scout Indiana beat writer, who tweeted and deleted the info about Alford’s interest last weekend writes today:
If Indiana offered Alford the job, he would accept it. I can say that with certainty. What I tweeted about Alford over the weekend and later deleted was factual and well-sourced. Alford has long desired to have the coaching job at Indiana, but he was never really a realistic candidate until he started having the success he’s had at UCLA. His son, Bryce, graduates after this season, Lonzo Ball is headed to the NBA, T.J. Leaf may be headed there, too — it’s the ideal time to make a move if he wants to.
Then, of course, there’s CBS Sports’ Doug Gottlieb who tweeted:
Basketball rumor is Alford replaces him https://t.co/H0AnNn9MZ0— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) March 16, 2017
Now, Gottlieb’s tweet should be taken with a grain of salt, due to the fact that he has had a noted anti-UCLA bias in the past, but, at the same time, I’m not sure if he gives Alford or Lonzo and Leaf more credit for this year’s turnaround.
Right now, only IU AD Fred Glass knows for sure.
Of course, the backdrop to all this is that UCLA has a game to play on Friday night.
At least, the next few weeks won’t be boring.