We can talk about the level of expectations the UCLA Bruins have for themselves all day long. Honestly, it does not matter if people on the outside deem them realistic or not. The expectations are what they are, and it is up to members within the program to live up to them. Those lofty expectations now rest square on the shoulders of Steve Alford, who replaced Ben Howland.
However, it is not Howland that the Bruins need to worry about anymore. It is actually another former UCLA coach, Steve Lavin. At the moment, both the Bruins and the St. John’s Red Storm are going after the same recruit, Rysheed Jordan. Just as short as two weeks ago, it seemed as if Jordan was a lock to be wearing a Bruin uniform next season. However, things have quickly changed.
This has less to do with Alford’s ability to recruit, but more with Lavin’s charming personality. Oh, and now he has a scholarship to offer Jordan.
With Amir Garrett leaving the program, that one scholarship that the Red Storm did not have to offer Jordan has now opened up, meaning UCLA is no longer the lone horse in the race for a much-needed point guard.
If Alford were to lose out to Lavin — who was once run from the program — it would be the worst of ways to start his era with the school. Folks who love everything UCLA hoops related would not be able to handle losing one of their premiere recruits to a man they deemed as not worthy of being their head coach.
Alford’s reality has and is going to need some changing. Gone are the days of just winning on the court. Now, regardless if it is fair or not, he has to win at everything — even the recruitment of a singular player.