The 2017 National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Classic matchups were announced today with UCLA as one of the four teams to participate in the games. Creighton, Baylor, and Wisconsin are the other three who will play in Kansas City, MO in November.
The Bruins will first face Creighton on Monday, November 20 and depending on the result, will either face Baylor or Wisconsin in the consolation or championship game on Tuesday, November 21. The first game comes 10 days after non-conference play starts on November 10. That leaves the team with three games already played and, without a doubt, all eyes will be on UCLA after three of their starters were drafted in the 2017 NBA Draft. Lonzo Ball, TJ Leaf, and Ike Anigbogu were fortunate enough to be selected.
Now, UCLA and Steve Alford must move on after losing four starters. It’s going to be hard to bounce back from losing Ball and Leaf in particular. The three freshman helped form a team which doesn’t come around too often. Still, looking back on the season, there was more to yearn for. How did an team like UCLA finish third in conference. How is it they only made it as far as the Sweet Sixteen? They should have made it further, especially considering how Lonzo Ball is tearing up the NBA Summer League .
One thing is for sure: Steve Alford needs the team to pick up where last year’s team left off or his critics who wanted him fired after the 2015-16 season will be back out in full force.