Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
This was a contentious scholarship because Bryce Alford is the coach's son and dominated high school basketball in New Mexico, which was considered not a respectable enough accomplishment to merit a chance at UCLA.
The most unintentionally comic UCLA fan site said predictably baseless and reactionary things about him, overstating a sense of humiliation that no decent person felt in a way intended to make it seem universal.
The site's tone and content is bathos, but it functions well as tangible evidence of the kind of spectral scavengers picking at the program that John Wooden tried to prepare his successors for.
Alford has been a nice, productive freshman player for this team all season, with only a small struggle with his shot and no demonstrative drop-off in quality even in the tough months of conference play.
The AP headline after UCLA beat Colorado in Los Angeles read: "Anderson, Alford lead UCLA past Colorado 92-74."
He was mentioned again in the lead when the writer noted he had scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half. That was the half the Bruins crushed and made the game look like a route after trailing by 12 at halftime.
Alford made up the deficit on his own, daggering four three-point shots, three of them on an 18-5 run around the 10-minute mark that put the Bruins ahead by 10.
He is a skilled, unselfish passer, though the way the offense is run, he often finds himself with an open look he is obliged to take. Alford assists three times a game on average, which is second-best on the team behind Anderson.
Alford's effective field-goal percentage is 52.1 percent, and his true shooting percentage is 56.2—both superb numbers for a guard. He makes 19 percent of the teams three-point shots on only 18 percent of its attempts.
His points-per-game average has crept up steadily over the season, crescendoing in early January and holding firm at 7.5 over 22 minutes.
More than his statistics though, it is his demeanor that is impressive. Like his father, who played under immense pressure all of his life, Alford acts like himself in every situation, doing what he knows he can do to the best of his ability.
Some people do not like Alford, but for UCLA, he is the right kind of player.