UCLA took a bad loss to Kentucky last night in the sweet 16, only thing that could've made it worse was to find out head coach Steve Alford was leaving for Indiana next season. Thankfully, UCLA didn't have to deal with that additional emotional distress because Alford put the rumors to bed right away. Alford said, "I am absolutely 100 percent not going to Indiana. Staying at UCLA. I am happy. Love it here. Have a great (recruiting) class coming in, and a brand-new practice facility. Obviously, I love my alma mater. Committed to UCLA. I am not going to talk to Indiana. I am staying a Bruin."
Everyone around college basketball thought it was sure fire deal, Alford leaving for Indiana after this season made too much sense. For one, Lonzo Ball is leaving. He's one of the best players in college basketball in quite some time, let's not act like he wasn't the reason for most of the teams success. Yes, his brother LiAngelo is coming to UCLA next year, but from what I hear he isn't half the player Lonzo is. Also, Bryce Alford, Steve Alford's son, is graduating, so it's not like he would be leaving him behind. The bond between Steve Alford and Indiana may have been strong, however the lifestyle of LA has proven to mesmerize almost anyone who has experience it in all it's glory. One argument for him to go back was Indiana is a more prestigious job, I don't agree with that whatsoever. LA is a more attractive place for recruits to come play and the history at UCLA is just as legendary if not more legendary than Indiana.
Steve Alford went against the consensus opinion and I have to respect him for that. His reasons for staying seemed genuine and valid. The fact he came out so quickly after being eliminated from the tournament to put these rumors to rest was impressive, if only more coaches were as transparent as Alford there'd be a lot less confusion in sports.Anyways, it's not like it's all bad for Alford now the Lonzo Ball, Bryce Alford, and T.J. Leaf are all leaving. UCLA still has LaMelo Ball who is supposedly filthy, committed to playing for them in a few years, he has that to look forward to, and I'm sure he's getting plenty of other highly talented recruits to play there as well. I wouldn't be surprised whatsoever if UCLA made it to a final four or won a national championship before Indiana. As a matter of fact, I guarantee they will. Watch coach Alford lead these Bruins to the promise land and create a greater legacy in Los Angeles than he had in Bloomington.