Bryce Alford Making a Name for Himself During March Madness

One of the feel good stories of March Madness this year is the 11th seeded UCLA Bruins run to the Sweet 16 led by sophomore point guard Bryce Alford who happens to play for his father. UCLA’s coach is Steve Alford who played for legendary coach Bobby Knight at Indiana and is considered one of the best college basketball players of all-time.bryce alford

Alford has popped in 49 points in two games while setting a school tournament record with nine 3-pointers made in the Bruins’ first round victory over 6th seeded SMU. He scored 27 points that game and his last 3 pointer led to a controversial finish against SMU when one of their players was called for goaltending.

In their second round victory over UAB, Alford had to adjust to an extended defense that refused to get burned by the three. As a result, Alford played the point effectively by driving in the paint and dishing off to teammates or scoring himself. He finished with 22-points and five assists as UCLA advanced to the Sweet Sixteen with a 92-75 victory.

The season has not been this dominant for Alford as he struggled with his shooting throughout the season. At one point, UCLA was on the bubble for selection to the NCAA tournament this year.

Bryce came to UCLA with his father from New Mexico where the elder Alford had been coaching.

It cannot be easy playing for your father in high school, let alone a Division 1 program with a storied past such as UCLA. With that being said, Alford also has had to deal with talk about him getting minutes because he is the coach’s son. Last year’s starting point guard Zach Lavine left for the NBA after giving up some minutes to Alford opening up the door for the coach’s son to be the starting floor general as a sophomore.

Alford had this to say when discussing the microscope he feels he is under playing for his father.

“It’s tough, being a coach’s kid. It’s not something I can really explain to anybody unless you are a coach’s kid. You really don’t know what it’s like. I’m under the microscope 100% of the time. It’s just something that comes with having the last name of Alford. Whether I was playing for him or not, I’m still a coach’s kid. Being able to play for him at a school like UCLA, you get a lot of heat. It’s been something that I’ve had to go through for my entire first two years. I know it’s not going to stop.”

Stop it will not. Despite his heroics these first two games of the tournament, Alford could hear the wrath of Bruins’ fans if he plays poorly and their Cinderella story ends.

That is just how things go in life. It’s not what you have done in the past. It’s what have you done for me lately. This is one college basketball fan who would like to see UCLA continue its run in the tournament.

And that’s…as I see it!

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Internal photo courtesy of http://www.zimbio.com

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