Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
UCLA Win Means Steve Alford Will Remain Bruins Coach For At Least Another Week
INDIANAPOLIS — UCLA’s win over Cincinnati sent the Bruins to the Sweet 16 against Kentucky on Friday and means that Steve Alford will remain the UCLA coach for at least another week.
A Twitter report on Sunday said the former Indiana star had been offered a 7-year, $31-million deal from Indiana to replace the fired Tom Crean.
ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported there has been no offer.
Alford has a $7.8 million buyout this season at UCLA, while Crean’s buyout is $4 million.
“I addressed the Indiana situation maybe Thursday, and I don’t have anything else to say on that,” Alford said following his team’s 79-67 win over Cincinnati in Sacramento. “This is about our team. I’ve already addressed that matter and I’m not going to address it anymore. This is about our team and what these guys are doing. Like I’ve said over and over again, it’s a journey I feel blessed to have a chance to be a head coach at UCLA and in particular this group of young men and the young men that we have in our locker room, it’s phenomenal. I’m going to enjoy this ride as long as we possibly can.”
Multiple sources here say Alford is the No. 1 choice to take the Indiana job, and there are those in the industry who believe Alford will inevitably land at his alma mater, which he helped lead to the 1987 NCAA championship under Bob Knight.
Yet for at least this week Alford will ostensibly be focused on a rematch with Kentucky, a team UCLA beat 97-92 on a Dec. 3 at Rupp Arena. The teams will meet in the second game on Friday in Memphis, following North Carolina-Butler.
“We’ll enjoy this,” Alford said. “We got a flight back we’re going to enjoy, get back to Westwood and enjoy this, get tomorrow off. At least we know them pretty well as far as prep goes and they obviously know us and I’ve got a ton of respect for Cal [John Calipari], his staff and their team.
“It’s a very, very good basketball team and I think they’re better now in March than they were when we played them in December, and I think we’re better than what we were in December as well. Makes for a great match-up. I don’t know if all the other regions went chalk, but it’s 1, 2, 3, 4 in the south. So that south region and bracket is going to be a lot of fun.”
Photo: Jamie Squire/ Getty Images
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.