Steve Alford joined Andy Katz on the first episode of his new podcast –March Madness 365 -- on Thursday. Alford discussed UCLA’s season thus far and broke down the Bruins’ tough upcoming matchup with Cincinnati, but he also provided a status update on Jalen Hill and Cody Riley.
Hill, Riley and LiAngelo Ball – who is no longer with the Bruins – were suspended indefinitely during the team’s trip to China in November. Here’s what Alford had to say about Hill and Riley:
“I know the situation is moving,” Alford said. “They’ve been in their meetings with the student conduct [board], and so we’re hoping we get that feedback as early as late this week, if not next week.”
Katz also spoke with NCAA tournament selection committee chairman Bruce Rasmussen and took a deep dive into the selection process. “When you are trying to rate teams, it’s like peeling an onion. You have so many layers, so close to each other,” he said. “This is the most exciting year in Division I Men’s Basketball that I have seen in a long, long time. The difference between the 10th best team in the country and the 50th best team in the country is paper thin.”
Katz also speaks with Jamie Dixon on his return to his alma mater TCU and what his return has meant to the Horned Frogs program and how his team has been challenged early in the season. “We’ve played better teams [early in the season] – we’ve haven’t played Kentucky, Kansas or Duke. Look – they aren’t going to play us in a home and home or a neutral court game. So we get the best teams we can play,” he said. “Our RPI is pretty good, we’ve have played some pretty good teams, not national championship teams, but good teams.”
Katz also talks with the No. 1 scorer in DI Men’s Basketball, Oklahoma freshman sensation Trae Young. “I’ll take whatever the defense is giving me,” he said when describing his scoring preference. “I can shoot the ball really well -- a three is worth more than a two and I feel like I can shoot the ball at the 3-level pretty well. I like shooting 3’s.”
The March Madness 365 podcast drops Friday mornings.