Being a coach’s kid in high school is tough enough, but imagine what Bryce Alford has to deal with while playing for the UCLA Bruins. Bryce, the obvious son of coach Steve Alford, stepped up tonight against the Colorado Buffaloes.
Bryce has been mostly a disappointment this season, even though he was highly touted as one of his dad’s best recruits this season (along with Zach LaVine). However, when his team needed him the most, he stepped up and hit big shot after big shot. He finished with 14 points — 12 of which came on his 4-5 clip from behind the arc — giving his team the advantage over the tough-minded Buffaloes.
Speaking of stepping up their game, Kyle Anderson had a near triple-double performance going for 22 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. There is no doubt that Anderson has been the team’s MVP all season long as he’s turned into a much better passer, distributor, finisher and even shooter; he went a rare two-for-two behind the arc.
Shooting 56% from the floor throughout the game is tough to do, but you can thank Anderson and Alford for achieving that. They were a combined 12-20 from the floor and six-for-seven from behind the arc. Also contributing to the cause was Travis Wear, going 6-6 from the floor and scoring 13 points.
There has been no doubt that the pressure has been getting to Alford this season, but games like this, where he can take over a game with his shooting, proves he can hang with the rest of the team. The score tells itself, despite being down by four at the half, the Bruins took over the second half and outscored the Buffs by 22 in a 92-74 rout.
To not take away UCLA’s team performance on a night having five guys in double figures is not easy to do. On the 35 shots the Bruins made tonight, there were 25 assists, proving that coach Alford’s system is finally getting to his players.
The Pac-12 needs UCLA, and the Bruins need the conference to step up like Bryce did tonight or they, as a conference, will be a flash in the pan in the tournament.
John Lloyd is a Pac-12 Basketball Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JohnHLloydIII