UCLA coach and Hoosier State legend Steve Alford was asked Thursday if he’d be interested in replacing the just-fired Tom Crean at Indiana … and he didn’t exactly say no.
According to the Indianapolis Star, Alford brought up the 1987 national title he won at Indiana.
“I was part of that. I stood on stage with a great group of guys and won a national championship. It’s my home state. I played there. So obviously all that comes up, but I love UCLA.’’
Alford said God would lead him in the right direction and expressed his happiness with UCLA and the city of Los Angeles.
Alford was reportedly then asked if he’d take a phone call from Indiana. Here’s what he said:
“That’s really going to be my comment about that situation. I don’t want that to be what this is about. This is about us. This is about what this group of guys are doing and that’s my focus.’’
Most coaches in Alford’s situation issue denials, but the former Indiana star seems to be keeping his options open.
After growing up in Indiana, Alford played for the Hoosiers from 1983-87, averaging 19.5 points per game and twice being named consensus All-American. He played briefly in the NBA, then became a coach, eventually getting the top job at Iowa and bouncing to New Mexico then UCLA.
Alford’s Bruins will play Kent State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.