It is becoming
Some Bruins basketball fans said former UCLA coach Ben Howland concentrated too much on defense, but it is what Alford worries about too.
Although Alford's 10-2 Bruins average 86.4 points a game — higher than any of Howland's teams — defense is Alford's current focus.
UCLA, which gives up 70.2 points a game, plays
Alford joked that he developed his defensive philosophy from a custodian at Manchester College in Indiana, where he broke in as a college coach.
"He wrote on a chalkboard, 'Put the ball in the basket at one end, keep it out of the basket at the other end,'" Alford recalled. "It's a simple philosophy and I've tried to teach it through the years. It's not a complicated thing."
Alford is not tied to a single defense. He's not known as a zone coach like Syracuse's
UCLA is playing more zone this year, Alford said Friday, because the Bruins have big guards — 6-foot-4 Norman Powell, 6-5 Jordan Adams and 6-9
"With that height at guard, it can make a zone very impressive," Alford said.
Alford said he's done more full-court pressing than he has in past years and would like to do more.
Despite its losing record, Alford noted that Alabama has had some tough losses to good teams, including a 77-74 decision to Xavier in its last game.
UCLA and Alabama have two common opponents and it could be argued Alabama played better against both. The Crimson Tide lost to Duke on a neutral court, 74-64, and lost to Drexel on a neutral court in triple overtime, 85-83.
UCLA lost to Duke on a neutral court, 80-63, and defeated Drexel at Pauley Pavilion, 72-67.
No decision on Allen
UCLA freshman Noah Allen, a 6-6 swingman, hasn't played since requiring surgery on fractures below his left eye after he was struck during a game against Oakland on Nov. 12.
Alford said no decision had been made on when Allen might play again or whether he would redshirt this season. Allen played in only the Oakland game, scoring four points with five rebounds.