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.
Steve Alford Says He’s ‘100 Percent Not Going to Indiana’
Steve Alford says he’s not going anywhere.
“I am absolutely 100 percent not going to Indiana,” he told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman following UCLA’s 86-75 loss to Kentucky in the Sweet 16 in Memphis thanks to a career-high 39 points from Kentucky freshman point guard De’Aaron Fox. “Staying at UCLA. I am happy. Love it here. Have a great class coming in, and 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.”
If Alford is truly out of the picture, other potential candidates for Indiana include Dayton’s Archie Miller, Xavier’s Chris Mack, whose team is in the Elite Eight, Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall and Butler’s Chris Holtmann, whose team lost to North Carolina in the Sweet 16.
Alford has been heavily linked to his alma mater Indiana, which has all but said it wants to replace Tom Crean with someone with ties to Indiana and the Bob Knight Era.
“To me,” IU AD Fred Glass said, “being a former IU person is a double-check plus. Being from the state of Indiana is a double-check plus. Collegiate head-coaching experience is certainly a double-check plus.”
One could argue it would make sense for Alford to leave now. His son, Bryce Alford, ended his career as the fifth all-time leading scorer in Bruins history, while stud freshmen Lonzo Ball announced he’s headed to the NBA Draft. Freshman forward T.J. Leaf is also a projected first-round pick.
But UCLA also has a strong recruiting class coming in, led by Kris Wilkes, LiAngelo Ball, Jaylen Hands, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill.
Alford wouldn’t come cheap, but that seems not to be an issue for Indiana.
His buyout a UCLA is $7.8 million, but adidas was said to be ready to buy that out. Crean’s buyout is $4 million. And Alford would still need to be paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $3-4 million annually.
“I love Los Angeles,” Alford told Goodman. “Very happy. I’m at UCLA. Special place. We’ve worked hard. Have No. 2 class coming in next year. … I want to see this through.”
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.