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No love for Alford as Bartow takes over — To the delight of frustrated fans, UCLA fires embattled head coach Steve Alford after 4 straight losses, and names Murry Bartow as Interim Coach

Sometimes you just HAVE to make a change. After 6 years at the helm of the most storied Basketball Program in the Country, Steve Alford has been terminated. With only 2 of those years being good, including one where Lonzo Ball was the actual team leader (Coach on the floor), and with this year falling well below expectations, UCLA fans were clamoring for immediate change, and that’s what they got.

After 4 consecutive defeats, including home losses to Belmont(!) and Liberty (!!), it was fairly apparent that Alford had lost his team. The effort was not at the level it needed to be, so Alford’s time was up. Assistant Murry Bartow will take over as the Interim Head Coach,

while an extensive search will begin, with a new Coach likely to be named immediately after the post-season, assuming the selection is a current coach of a team that makes the Big Dance. With UCLA’s depressing 7-6 record that includes ZERO marquee wins, the only way they will make March Madness is by winning the Pac-12 Conference Tournament, a feat which they are NOT predicted to accomplish.

Can Bartow get more out of this same bunch? Can he get them to hustle for loose balls, or to focus at the Free Throw line, or to stop taking bad three-point shots early in the shot clock? Can he get them to actually run plays, like the backdoor plays that have victimized them on the other end of the court? Can he get Kris Wilkes to get an Assist? There’s plenty of room for improvement strategically and fundamentally, but MOTIVATION will be where Bartow’s biggest chance is. If he can reach the players emotionally, he may be able to coax some improvement out of them. There is a lot of talent, but it has gone dormant over the last few weeks. It’s up to Bartow to wake it up.

Steve Alford knew he was on the hot seat, but his comment that he has only an “audience of one” — meaning GOD — turned out to be non-prophetic. His audience was all of us, and most knew it was time to go, including Athletic Director Dan Guerrero, who is definitely not God. Maybe Steve didn’t pray hard enough? Maybe he should call Notre Dame, the only “name” team he beat this year (on a last-second miracle shot, no less), and see if they want to “upgrade” to a Coach who is performing solely for the Almighty.

"(AL)FORD ESCAPE, (AL)FORD FIESTA" was published on December 31st, 2018 and is listed in Blue & Gold News, UCLA/usc/Sports Photos.

Comments on "(AL)FORD ESCAPE, (AL)FORD FIESTA": 1 Comment

  1. Frank Berger wrote,

    UCLA’s statement says Murry Bartow, not Tyus Edney is interim head coach.

    [T-H’s Note: Sorry. At 3 in the morning, all the reports said Edney. When I woke up today, I saw the official announcement.]

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