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Pac-12: Steve Alford used to UCLA-level pressure

Published March 30, 2013 2:52 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In New Mexico, the big issue is how Steve Alford's 10-year contract agreement lasted about 10 days. In the Pac-12, meanwhile, the story moved quickly to how Alford's hiring will affect UCLA and the conference.

UCLA athletic Dan Guerrero made a great observation about Alford. If anybody can live up to the pressure and expectations of UCLA basketball, it should be Alford. He played for Indiana, so he's accustomed to tradition and high standards.

New Mexico's coaching job is highly scrutinized as well, given what Lobo basketball means in Albuquerque. So Alford is a good fit, and he's a good coach - even if Harvard's Tommy Amaker makes him look bad in the NCAA Tournament at EnergySolutions Arena. Alford should be everything UCLA wants in a coach, although there's some irony in the fact he could not get the Lobos to the Sweet 16.

Ben Howland's downfall was his inability to reach the Sweet 16 since 2008, when the Bruins made their third consecutive Final Four appearance.