Steve Alford has only gone to one Sweet 16 in nearly 20 years. But he has never had a job like UCLA, where there's talent everywhere he'll turn. The former New Mexico coach needs players -- and he already has a pair of huge fans in two guys with major influence in the state.
Ben Howland had a group of guys that didn't fit his style and system. However, UCLA's head coach has made changes and also instilled toughness in this group -- and now the Bruins remain two wins away from a Pac-12 sweep.
UCLA enters Wednesday's game at Washington State ranked 23rd with a 12-4 record in the Pac-12 that has the Bruins tied atop the league standings. So things are going well for this team that starts three freshmen. But there's still a vibe of uncertainty surrounding the program because nobody has said for sure, because nobody can say for sure that Ben Howland will return for his 11th season.