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MrBug708

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  1. Crapshoot or not, it's the situation at Gonzaga
  2. They have the replacement for Few on their coaching staff. Few could have had any major program had he wanted, if he were unhappy. UW would have gladly taken him 2 years ago and likely reached out. He just likes it there
  3. That's actually a better looking version for Barnes than what happened and calling Wasserman back and saying he'll take the original offer and being told no...haha
  4. Cronin isn't going anywhere for probably 4 years barring scandal. There is a buyout in place thta is pretty sizeable, but nobody gets fired at UCLA that quickly ever
  5. I think Cronin was always the realistic floor. I think Dixon had been a target. One of the writers on the UCLA 247 site is a good friend of Dixon, so there is a lot of inside info there on that front. I would have picked Greg Marshall. We panicked into Alford last time because Marshall wouldn't, rightfully so, talk to us about the job until after his FF run was over. But that personality wouldn't mesh well at UCLA so I get the hesitance. And he hasn't moved since then. It's a shame Mark Few loves Eastern WA because he would kill it at UCLA and other schools
  6. UCLA was going to pay the buyout on Dixon. But TCU kept to the strict clause of the buyout and make Jaime Dixon pay it. The tax implications of receiving a 10 million dollar bonus is pretty strong. You either end up paying Dixon 7 million a year or he takes a hit the first couple of years and coaches for nothing. Paying Calipari's buyout is also different than paying Jamie Dixon's. The debate about how serious Calipari was considering UCLA will be at odds, but my source knows Wasserman, so it's not like it was BS from your average donor either. I heard about it about a week before it slowly broke. UCLA should have kicked the tires on Oats. I don't think we were going to hire Hoiberg because he is a Wasserman client and we just hired Chip Kelly, a much easier no brainier decision. We couldn't talk to Muss, who would have taken the job. We couldn't get passed the vetting on Beard and neither could Arkansas. I think the plan was to go after Bennett and we probably wait a year too long for him and once he made it past the Sweet 16, that small dream was done. I think the Rock Barnes thing was a panic move by the AD
  7. Texas basically is pretty bad historically, which is odd. Rick Barnes was basically fired because he couldnt make the second weekend and the program was pretty stagant and both needed a fresh start. I liked Rick Barnes as a candidate, his biggest issue was likely his age. He has done a good job everywhere he has been. Barnes: has coached at the 31st best program historically (Tennessee), the 40th (Providence), the 53rd (Texas), and the 64th (Clemson) at the power 5/6 level (using SRS to determine program strength). Texas basketball has been around since 1905 and Barnes has: 16 of their 34 NCAA appearances. 5 of their 10 Sweet Sixteen appearances. 3 of their 7 Elite 8 appearances (which means 3 of their 4 Elite Eight appearances since 1947). and 1 of only 3 Final Four appearances (the other two were in the 1940's).
  8. Ah, you've met some UCLA fans that had high expectations. Cool. There are a variety of reasons why a team gets to the Sweet 16 or not. It's not some given right, but often times there are favorable matchups, upsets, over/under seedings, and just pure luck. Is Tony Bennett a garbage coach because he lost to a 16 seed? There is a ton of analysis that can be done to it. Lavin had teams full of pros that only made it to the Elite 8, and that was a team that had upperclassmen who were underclassmen when they won the title. Luck is Ben Howland running into Florida back to back years. Any of Howland's three UCLA FF teams would have gone undefeated in college this year. That's luck more than anything. Not much you can do. Was it good coaching that UCLA unexpected made the tournament as an 11 seed? Was it coaching that gifted them a goaltending call at the buzzer in the first round? Was it coaching that saw them see a UAB team that upset the 4 seed in the round of 32? Then the following year we got to miss the tournament. Was that good coaching? The year after we had Lonzo Ball? Good coaching? Or happened to be the best basketball program closest to Chino Hills? The following year we were fortunate enough to made the first 4 grouping, what a time to be alive! I suppose Alford. It's actually easy to point where it all went wrong. It was with his son. Most fans can't stand him. I dont have quite the same opinion of him. He obviously showed he belonged at this level. But he couldnt guard anyone. But that didn't stop Steve from playing him. Freshmen year, he came in with Zach Lavine. One went in the lottery and makes a lot of money. The other is chasing the dream in Europe or the D league. lford nudged him out and stopped playing him in key situations over his son. We needed a PG still, but Bryce's future chances at the NBA hinged on his ability to be a PG based on his size. That year had a glut of PG prospects in the West. Jordan McLaughling, Dom Collier, PJC, Quinton Snyder, Tra Holden, Robert Cartwright, and Casey Benson. Each one commented they stopped hearing from Alford throughout the year. Jordan McLaughlin idolized Collison, went to the same high school, even mentioned that he eliminated UCLA because he didn't think he'd get a fair shake at the PG spot, so he went to USC. The lack of defense is was a weakness, but the best way to correct a lack of defense is to sit. But the blind spot was there for Steve. It unfortunately reverberated among the team and players knew that missed assignments wouldn't be punished. But they were. Except for Bryce. But players started freelancing, especially the starters. So the lack of accountability and defense stemmed from Steve not setting the tone with his son. Once he graduated, the culture had already been set. Players knew what it was like. Steve did move Bryce off the ball, to his credit, when Lonzo came in. And Steve handled as good as anyone could. That was his best team and the best team since Howland's last FF team. But the inability to coach and played defense left the team short in the Sweet 16. A bit more focus in other games and they get a better seed. They take advantage of the talent on that team. But the culture was already in place and erroding it. The right thing for UCLA to have done was to cut bait with Alford after year 3. Any blueblood would have done so. But UCLA holds onto coaches too long. This time because of a buyout that wasn't needed. Steve was also gunning for the Indiana job. UCLA was going to waive the buyout. But Indiana hired Archie. Some say it came down to the last moment, others say Steve was never in contention. He stopped having basketball clinics. You coach at UCLA, in the best spot for talent. And you don't even have basketball clinics anymore. After the season ended, he'd go on a barnstorming tour in Indiana. He did every year. The grind isnt there for Steve. The culture was gone. That's why the China incident happened. That's why he had to let in Gelo Ball, despite him not being good enough for Cal State LA, much less UCLA. Not a single coach is worried about the expectations of UCLA Not any coach that is successful, at least. There are reasons why the UCLA job isn't attractive to coaches, but expectations are ones that live in the minds of fans. And fired coaches trying to rationalize why they squandered an easy opportunity. As for the AD, it's a big mystery, but UCLA is more concerned about figuring out how to be an Ivy League school. It does well financially, tends to avoid scandals (this latest that is plaguing schools with admissions might be different), and Dan Guerrero, the AD, can fundraise. But he hates hiring and firing coaches. He didn't do a google search over Alford. He found out abou the Pierre Pierce thing when a reporter asked him at the introduction press conference. He gave Alford the insane buyout because he didnt want to worry about hiring another coach. UCLA hasn't lost but one coach, a soccer coach, to another college since like 1971. We do well in all sports because of location and California being a giant ass state. That's why it's a shame that the football program hasnt been relevant but for a mere season (1998) since Terry Donahue was better than average in the 80s. That's why the AD has fired 4 coaches and hired 4 more in football, and fired three coaches in basketball and hired 3 more. I cant imagine you'd find a single AD with that track record. But UCLA is good inspite of ineptitude of leadership. We are also notoriously cheap. Ben Howland took a paycut to come to UCLA from Pitt. That's before the cost of living difference. People point to the lack of charter flights. We are cheap. (Also the fact that you can fly anywhere from LAX with multiple flights going everywhere so who cares). Assistant coaches living 45 minutes to an hour and a half away. Facilities were crappy until a few years ago. The AD had a commitment from Calipari. (I get it of you want to say he always does it, I know he does, either way, that was what the AD was working on). The assistant AD sent out an email to donors the first weekend saying it was happening. Calipari sent out a tweet a day later, despite it not being a story yet, about how he was the coach at Kentucky and was planning on it. The media also ran with a story about how UCLA wasn't going to pay more than what he was offering. The AD let that happen, despite offering a higher base salary than Kentucky. But we aren't a savy, forward thinking AD. They got suckered in with Jamie Dixon. The optics are awful with it. Barnes was a hail mary. He tried to squeeze more money out of UCLA and UCLA walked. Barnes called 30 minutes later saying he would take the 6 million, but they had already called Mick and Wasserman didn't want to give Barnes the buyout. It's really Amateur Hour with the AD. Despite all of this and despite the pay for admissions thing, the Chancellor is thinking about giving Dan Guerrero a contract extension. Right now his pension will be north of 1 million dollars a year. For the TL;DR crowd - Alford bad, UCLA is good at athletics in spite of itself
  9. This is probably the most pervasive of the myths, and probably the most nefarious when it comes to damaging the UCLA brand in the eyes of potential coaches. The evidence used is that UCLA fired Steve Lavin and Ben Howland despite, for the former, five Sweet 16s and for the latter, three straight Final Fours. This myth is usually a couplet, sometimes combining with "UCLA only hangs National Championship banners" or "UCLA fans are disappointed with anything but championships." Of course, it simply isn't true that UCLA or its fans have extraordinarily high expectations, at least relative to other elite jobs (Duke, North Carolina, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky). The Bruins have had just three coaches in the last 23 years, for an average tenure of a little under eight years. The average tenure of coaches in the entirety of college basketball is right around five years, which puts UCLA well above the norm in terms of the amount of time it gives coaches to be successful. In terms of the actual expectations, judging by the last three coaching tenures at UCLA, fans and the administration would be more than happy with competing for the conference championship every year and making a deep tournament run every few years. Lavin, who was an awful coach whose recruiting was tanking by the end of his tenure, still managed to forestall the inevitable over his last three years by pulling out miracle Sweet 16 runs in two of them. In only one of his seven years at UCLA did he win the Pac-10, and in three seasons he had double digit losses. His teams were on a clear downward trend, having won the conference his first year, and then finishing progressively lower each year until his 02-03 team finally bottomed out with a losing overall record (10-19), the worst for UCLA in 50 years. Only after completely cratering the program was he fired, even though it was plain to see that he wasn't a good coach after his fourth season and would have little shot at ever competing for a National Championship. He left a fairly untalented husk of a program for his successor, Ben Howland. Howland, who is and was a very good coach, had a spectacular run rebuilding the program to an elite level through his first five years, and then, in equally spectacular fashion, over the next five years brought the program nearly down to the level it was when his tenure started. He won two NCAA Tournament games over his last five years, had another losing season, and experienced double digit transfers to the point where his final team had just eight scholarship players on it, including three transfers from North Carolina and four freshmen. His next season was arguably going to be his cratering moment, with recruiting dead in the water and a good chance at having only six or seven scholarship players on roster. He had earned a reputation in recruiting circles as a chore to play for, and his own players tried to leave as soon as possible, especially over the last five years. Even after an extremely damaging Sports Illustrated story came out toward the end of his last season, detailing all of the issues in the program, Howland was retained. It was only after his 10th season, where he lost two more players to transfer and was virtually guaranteed to have even more serious roster issues next year that he was fired. Steve Alford, for his part, is demonstrably not a good high major coach. He's failed to instill accountability in the program, resulting in season after season of poor defense and undisciplined offense. He hasn't been ranked in the top 10 in a single week outside of the Lonzo Ball season, and he has the lowest winning percentage through five seasons of any UCLA coach not named Walt Hazzard. The Bruins have never won a Pac-12 regular season title under Alford, and they have never advanced past the Sweet 16. Assuming this year finishes as was tracking before the firing the Bruins also will miss the 64-team field of the NCAA Tournament for the third time under Alford. Unlike Howland and Lavin, recruiting has still been fine for Alford, which makes it even more apparent how weak of a coach he is. Legitimately, though, his teams have obviously underachieved in four of his six seasons. The point is that both Howland and Lavin were given the opportunity to crater the program before they were ultimately fired, and Alford has had fewer good seasons than either of them. If UCLA were the basketball championship factory that so many seem to think it is, each of these guys would have been fired at the first sign of any downward trend. For Howland, that could have come as early as after his seventh year, after his second losing season, but more likely after his ninth season. For Lavin, it could have come at any time in his last three years. For Alford, it could have come after year three, when the Bruins had one of their worst seasons ever, but certainly after last year. That both Howland and Lavin were allowed to take the program to the cliff's edge, and that Alford has lasted for 5+ seasons, speaks to extraordinarily low expectations for an elite program. Comparatively, the blue blood programs that do have ridiculously high expectations don't ever wait this long to fire a coach. When Kentucky realized it had a clunker in Billy Gillispie, it fired him after two seasons. Matt Doherty lasted just three seasons at North Carolina. Indiana has pulled the trigger as comparatively quick on various coaches, including Mike Davis (six seasons) and Tom Crean (nine seasons), and not counting Kelvin Sampson (who they fired amidst a scandal). It's an absence of evidence argument, but in this case it's a fairly good one: if UCLA were the kind of school where the sole goal was winning National Championships, and coaches were constantly on the hot seat if they weren't competing at the highest levels of the elite, wouldn't the Bruins have won more than one in the last 43 years? And, if not, wouldn't they have had a whole heck of a lot more coaches than four over the last 30 years, when UCLA won just one title?
  10. He couldn't manage to win to win the PAC-12 once, despite the conference being hot garbage. Missed the tournament* 3 of his 6 years. I think his tenure would still be going on if it weren't for his son. But parents are often blinded by love. I'm assuming Alford is bringing Kory with him.
  11. There literally is no high level program with less pressure. The media cares less than the fans. Alford would have been fired after year 3 at any elite program. We allowed him to keep coaching and it cost us 2 extra years.
  12. That was Lonzo Ball. To Alford's credit, he just got out of the way and let the the team run itself. Of course that didn't help defensively or establish any sort of structure in the program, but it's Steve Alford. Not much was going on with him anyways with Bryce in the program. Alford couldn't get to the second weekend. He basically inherited Howlands team and did just that. I'm not worried about tournament success with Cronin, that will work itself out. The highest concern is what sort of offense he can get going. In his presser, he said when you are the more talented team, you want more possessions. When you have less talent that the opposition, you want to slow the game down and limit chances. I'm hoping he is able to develop the offensive side because that will go the longest in determining his staying power at UCLA. Recruiting higher level players in his older style is a smaller concern. Some fans want to see top 5 recruiting, it's great to brag about, but I'm cool with Top20 classes consistently, with 5* thrown in here or there.
  13. Absolutely. I'm praying Arizona hires Walton when Miller is fired. Walton spend a single season in college and has no desire to put up with the college grind. It be like bringing back Steve Lavin without the cache of being an assistant for a title winner. If I wanted a crappy NBA coach, I would have just hired Earl Watson because he knows his way around the AAU circuit and is an alum. He said Luke Walton AHAHAHAHAHAHA
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