The Bruins announced Wednesday they added a sixth brand name to their early 2014-15 schedule — perennial
UCLA will play host to the
The Gonzaga game will be played a week before the Bruins travel to Chicago to play Kentucky in a nationally televised game at the
"We like being in really good neutral-game tournaments," UCLA Coach Steve Alford said, noting that the CBS tournament is the first in a three-year deal that calls for the Bruins to play North Carolina at
"That's probably the best field that Atlantis tournament has ever had," Alford added. "The kids we're recruiting, they want to play a really good schedule, and as coaches we like doing that, so it kind of goes hand and hand."
UCLA also has a game at Alabama on Dec. 28, after hosting the Crimson Tide last year.
The Bruins played 13 nonconference games last season — Alford's first as UCLA's coach — highlighted by games against Missouri at Columbia, Mo., and Duke at
In former coach Ben Howland's final season, UCLA had a decent schedule that included early games against Georgetown at Barclays Center, San Diego State in Anaheim, Texas at
But the two seasons before that the Bruins' nonconference slate was filled mostly with games played locally — and televised locally — against the likes of Cal State Northridge, Montana State, Middle Tennessee State and UC Davis.
Alford was not concerned about UCLA's strength of schedule — "Our league takes care of a lot of that now with the
UCLA finished with a record of 28-9 last season, Alford's first after being hired away from New Mexico. The Bruins won the Pac-12 Conference tournament championship and defeated Tulsa and Stephen F. Austin in the
However, the Bruins must replace four starters and a top reserve. Forwards Travis and David Wear were seniors, and sophomore guards
Alford said a team's expected lineup is another consideration in scheduling, but that was a moving target this year.
"We thought we might lose Kyle and Zach or Kyle and Jordan, but I don't think when we went through it we thought we'd lose all three of them," Alford said. "It's not an exact science by any stretch."