UCLA coach Steve Alford applauds as the Bruins beat Cincinnati 79-67 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on March 19. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Steve Alford gave the UCLA coaches a leg up in a season-long competition with the Bruins. The head coach wrapped up an open practice Thursday by knocking down a half-court shot.

"I told them we have to step it up,'' Alford said when asked about upstaging his Bruins.

"Truth be told, we've been getting slaughtered. We've got guys like Lonzo (Ball) literally takes a jump shot from the timeline. We were just lucky that they only got one shot at it. I think coaches are down about eight on the half-court shots this year. I told them, though, that the coaches are ahead at the Sweet 16. I don't think they're buying it.''

 

Then again, Alford still can shoot pretty well. Freshman forward TJ Leaf said a couple weeks ago he was shooting free throws with his coach behind him shooting 3s. 

"He made literally like 50 out of 52,'' Leaf said. So he can still, I mean he can probably beat most of us in horse.''

UCLA plays No. 2 seed Kentucky in the South Regional semifinal on Friday night.