UCLA fires Steve Alford

Discussion in 'NAU and All Non-Arizona College Sports' started by Russ Smith, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. Dback Jon

    Dback Jon Killer Snail Contributor

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    Hearing Mick Cronin and Jamie Dixon are top names.

    Dixon - Ben Howland disciple, former NAU Assistant (and left Pitt for his Alma Mater)

    Cronin - has Cincy really done that much, and would he leave his Alma Mater?
     
  2. Russ Smith

    Russ Smith The Original Whizzinator Contributor

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    LA Times story says that. We're also being told on the fallback list is Randy Bennett and Shaka Smart. Dixon already turned the job dow so apparently he's either had a change of heart or UCLA is asking again.


    If I had to predict I'd take a flier and say Smart. My guess is when UCLA looked hard at Beard they figured out he's the next Texas coach and it's just a matter of time before that happens, which meant Smart might be available. He has not done anywhere near as well at Texas as expected but they may be looking at it and saying he's the same guy we looked at a few years ago, with more experience.

    I just don't buy they're going to hire Bennett. I like Cronin but he's got no West Coast ties, if you hire someone with no West Coast ties he better be a really easy guy to sell and that's more Smart than Cronin.
     
  3. Russ Smith

    Russ Smith The Original Whizzinator Contributor

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    Looks like Dixon unless something changes at the last minute.
     
  4. Russ Smith

    Russ Smith The Original Whizzinator Contributor

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    One interesting point on this that the WSJ reported today. With all the griping by ex UCLA players that Earl Watson should be hired, and several have suggested if he's not it's a racial thing, Watson is apparently currently a student at UCLA trying to earn his bachelors degree, which is something MOST D1 colleges require in order to be a basketball coach. That is if the WSJ story is true, Earl can't be the next UCLA coach until he gets his bachelor degree.

    I remember back in 2015 he went back to school for that exact reason, but then he got sidetracked with some NBA team in Arizona and I guess never got the degree.

    That also explains why Earl hasn't been doing any coaching in college since the Suns fired him, he can't until he gets his bachelors.
     
  5. Ronin

    Ronin ASFN Contributor Contributor

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  6. Dback Jon

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  7. Russ Smith

    Russ Smith The Original Whizzinator Contributor

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    I actually like Cronin, his teams beat up UCLA the last 2 times. But I'm not overly thrilled with him as the coaching hire I'm not sure his lack of West Coast recruiting experience will be interesting.

    As mentioned on the UA board the other day, he and Miller hate each other so that's an interesting thing
     
  8. Dback Jon

    Dback Jon Killer Snail Contributor

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    Does that go back to Xavier days?
     
  9. Russ Smith

    Russ Smith The Original Whizzinator Contributor

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    Yes. Remember when Cronin and UC had a fight with Xavier and Mack a few years back Miller spoke up saying he was proud of the Xavier kids. People tried to say Miller was advocating fighting when he really meant Xavier didn't back down. But it was reported that Cronin had some "typical Sean Miller" comments about it and it was pretty well accepted around Cincinnati they didn't like each other.

    There's a video of Miller in like 2010 saying he wasn't going to make excuses for losing because ARizona was young, and then said when I was at Xavier there was another coach in town who did that, made excuses, everyone believed he meant Cronin because of the rivalry with Xavier.

    I guess hate is a strong word but I think it's apparent they don't like each other.

    I think he's a good coach but like Miller I think his style tends to wear on players and his teams might peak in the regular season because he's so demanding. I also think it's going to be tough to keep kids at UCLA with his style, even player friendly coaches like Alford had trouble with that. I really hope Cody Riley sticks I think Cronin has done wonders with kids like that but my guess is Riley thinks I'm very old for my class I'm not an NBA guy I should just turn pro and get paid to play overseas somewhere. Hope he sticks it out though I think he's Cronin's type of player
     
  10. Russ Smith

    Russ Smith The Original Whizzinator Contributor

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    Good point made during the Warriors game last night as rookie Cincinnati guard Jacob Evans got his most extended PT. People assuming the UCLA search committee just blindly fell into Cronin might be wrong. He clearly wasn't the first choice, but remember, Bob Myers was on the search committee, and Bob Myers picked Jacob Evans in the last draft. ANd as Jim Barnett said last night if you talk to anybody in the Warriors organization about Evans they will say 2 things, very hard worker, and very well coached in college. Barnett's an Oregon grad and he said I don't follow college much and I don't follow Cronin but my guess is Myers is much more familiar with Cronin than people think because of the scouting they did on Evans.
     
  11. Southpaw

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  12. Dback Jon

    Dback Jon Killer Snail Contributor

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    Good spot for Alford
     
  13. Russ Smith

    Russ Smith The Original Whizzinator Contributor

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    One of their best young prospects, Jordan Brown, was nearly a UCLA Bruin when Alford was there. All the rumors were he was very interested but after Shareef decommitted from Arizona, he committed to UCLA. The rumor was UCLA got tired of waiting on Brown and basically told him commit now or we're taking Shareef. So it'll be interesting to see what he does, I expect he'll stay and have a good year I never quite got why he was so slow to commit his recruit lingered for ages before he picked Nevada and then he came off the bench because he picked a team full of seniors.

    Alford's not a horrible coach but I have to admit I'm surprised he took a job this quickly. I don't think they ever made his buyout negotiation public but I assume that he got good money when he got fired and since his contract still had time on it I assume he would have gotten paid to NOT coach had he stayed out of work.

    Outside of the Lonzo year it seemed like the last 2 he was somewhat coasting like he knew he was on borrowed time, maybe sitting out a few months he's recharged his batteries.

    Nevada has a nice program going it'll be interesting to see if Alford keeps the same living off transfers approach Mussleman had going so well, it's not something he did at UCLA, had several at UNM.
     

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