With the UCLA Basketball team at the limit with their scholarships for the first time in the Steve Alford, the Bruins have enough players to rotate 10 players. Why not platoon?
Platooning. Cycling in an entirely new line-up of five players for five other players. It seemed to work for Kentucky during the 2014-15 season, so can it work for the UCLA Basketball team during the 2016-17 season?
For starters, let us imagine that UCLA Head Coach Steve Alford can improve this Bruin team and recognize that he has up to 10 players that can be effective. Not to knock Alford, but he has not been the most effective with roster management, but that could change next season.
Alford has a huge freshmen class coming in with four very talented players that have helped the Bruins to reload.
More from Go Joe Bruin
- UCLA Football: It’s time for the nation to meet Dante Moore
- UCLA Football: Where are they ranked heading into week 4
- UCLA Football: Position battle breakdown for Utah showdown
- UCLA vs. Utah: Location, time, prediction, and more
- UCLA Football: Highlights from Chip Kelly’s appearance on the Jim Rome Show
In all, Alford has 13 scholarship players, 10 of which could see a lot of playing time next season. Two squads of five players. It could be perfect… if it worked.
But there is something to that. The UCLA Basketball team is nothing like that ’14-15 Wildcat team.
That was the year UK made their epic run to a nearly undefeated season going 38-1, only to lose in the Final Four. That was the year Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari used his platoon system to capitalize on all of the talent available to him, which was a lot.
The Wildcats were so effective at running their game that they did not have one stand out player, but rather several stand out players that knew how to play team ball. Not one player averaged over 12 points a game that season, but had six that did score over eight points per game. It was the epitome of team basketball.
So can UCLA do this? Sure. Here is how:
Last week I pointed out that the Bruin’s starting line-up would have great offense, but hardly any defense, yet UCLA is not for a lack of defense all together as Holiday, Bolden and Anigbogu should be a breathe of fresh air in the Bruin’s defensive game. Adding to that, Ali and Paras, if developed properly, could be effective weapons in the shooting game.
So UCLA has a solid offensive 1st team and a potentially shocking defensive team, why not use both?
As stated above, UCLA is not Kentucky from two seasons ago. UCLA is also not UCLA from two seasons ago. You know, the team that scored a program low 7 points in a first half versus said Kentucky team. Though the Wildcats we’re slightly more merciful in the second half giving UCLA a respectable 83-44 defeat, it amplified the huge gap between the two college basketball blue bloods.
But that is changing. Not only has Alford insisted that things will change for the UCLA Basketball program after last season’s 15-17 record, but he also has the players to back it up. There is a lot of hype with the incoming class, especially Ball and Leaf.
It could also be beneficial for Alford to get as many of his players experience as possible. UCLA could have up to five players leave the program after next season. Alford and Hamilton will graduate and it is not outside of reason to think Ball, Leaf and Bolden could leave early for the NBA. So why not platoon and get more Bruins experience?
Sure it has its ups and downs like potential mismatch ups with opponents, issues with injuries and the ability to get these ten players to buy into the system, but hey, next year is going to be a work in progress anyway.
So if this does take off and UCLA starts using the platoon system, I would like to get the credit for it. Thank you and have a great week!