Tuesday Basketball Press Conference

Nov. 25 -- Coach Alford, Norman Powell, and Bryce Alford talk in the Bahamas the day before Oklahoma...

UCLA head coach Steve Alford

opening statement

“We are excited to be here and appreciate the invite. This is such a prestigious tournament over the holidays, so it means a lot to our program. We are really looking forward to it. We have gotten off to a good start with a new and fairly young team. To get four home wins under our belt before we got here was essential for us. We come in here with some momentum, but we know that we have a lot of work to do, starting with Oklahoma. We are in a very difficult tournament with a lot of great teams. That is fun and exciting over the holidays and we’ll get to find out, by the time we leave the island, where we are and what we have to do better at both ends.”


on this tournament helping to set the stage for the rest of UCLA’s season

“It’s terrific, because we feel like we already have a very good schedule. We know that we’ll play Oklahoma and then it’s going to be Butler or North Carolina in game two. We don’t know what game three will look like. But, potentially, we could play three ranked opponents. If we don’t play three ranked opponents, we could probably play two and then another outstanding opponent. You’re going to get three great opponents. That does not always happen in these exempt tournaments. Sometimes you get one, at most, and that is usually at a championship. This tournament is very special because every game has championship-caliber teams in it. We are going to get three very good basketball teams that are very well-coached with great players. Our guys will have played seven games over a 15-day stretch. We are getting seven games before we get to December. These last three games that we’re getting will be a good litmus test of where we are before we get to December.”


Norman Powell (senior, guard)

on traveling from Los Angeles to a beautiful resort in the Bahamas

“I think it’s really big for us. Coach has done a great job of bringing our team together. We had a retreat down in San Diego [in mid-October], and it’s great to be out here. This is my first time out here in the Bahamas and we want to enjoy every minute of it. I think that our team is very close. We will spend this time here not only to get better as a team, but also to build our chemistry and to come closer off the court.”


Bryce Alford (sophomore, guard)

on his thoughts of the arena during Tuesday’s practice

“It’s a cool little arena. It’s a ballroom, where when you walk in you notice that it is pretty small. It’s kind of a shooter’s gym. You walk in there and there is not a whole lot of room. With the low ceilings and everything, it’ll be interesting to play in there. We are ready for it.”


Norman Powell (senior, guard)

on whether he and his teammates have had time to enjoy the resort since arriving Monday night

“Not much. We got in late last night and did some team stuff. But, we have a little bit of time in the afternoon today. I’m sure a few guys will walk around just to see it. We do have to make sure and get some rest because we have to play three games in three days. We will definitely enjoy our time a little bit and just see what it looks like and get a great view of this scenery.”

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