UCLA Basketball: Has Steve Alford lost his players?

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 13: Jaylen Hands
DAYTON, OH - MARCH 13: Jaylen Hands /

With the UCLA basketball team playing subpar hoops in recent weeks, one has to wonder if head coach Steve Alford has lost his players.

Just looking at UCLA basketball take on Liberty on Saturday, one can almost assume that head coach Steve Alford has a disconnect with his players.

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From tipoff to the final buzzer, it appeared as if the Bruins were playing uninspired basketball. Actually, it has appeared that way since the start of the season, the game against Liberty had nicely wrapped those sentiments up in a post-Christmas present for all to see (well, some to see as the game was on the Pac-12 Network).

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Since the beginning of the season, the Bruins have looked like they are playing for themselves and one can’t blame them. With no real direction with the offense, a non-existent defense, and a general malaise surrounding the program, it is hard to get inspired for UCLA basketball.

From a fan’s perspective, this has made many check out, so one can only imagine how it is for these young adults who are looking for direction within their basketball program. Unfortunately, Steve Alford does not provide that, unless you are one of his sons (Kory Alford was given a position by his father as the team’s video director after he graduated and Bryce Alford was given unnecessary minutes as a point guard during his first three years at UCLA).

Everyone else has to earn his love, for some unknown reason. But it seems like love, in general, for UCLA basketball is fading. And why would it not? The Bruins are 7-6 this season. With that mark, do you think Alford bares any of that responsibility? A little, but not before he has a chance to blame everyone but himself.

After the loss to Liberty, Alford did it once again. Aside from saying “I don’t know” to several questions as to why the Bruins are having these woes, he managed to blame anyone but himself. “Poor ball handling, poor passing, poor catching, poor shooting, poor foul shooting.”

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Not one mention of bad coaching. So tell me, would you be inspired to play for a coach like Alford?