What new coaches are inheriting

UCLA's returning talent provides Alford with great potential next season

Updated: April 25, 2013, 11:15 AM ET
By John Gasaway | ESPN Insider

Steve Alford Victor Decolongon/Getty ImagesNew UCLA coach Steve Alford inherits a talented and experienced roster in Westwood.

With Rutgers making it official and finally hiring Eddie Jordan, every major-conference head coaching position is now occupied -- at least for the moment. So it's high time to consider the top teams that will have rookie coaches in 2013-14. I'm including six major-conference programs plus New Mexico in my ratings for coaches in new gigs. Here's my ranking of those teams, including everything from a legitimate Sweet 16 threat to a couple of "Just wait until 2016" cases.

1. UCLA Bruins (Steve Alford)
New coach Steve Alford will navigate his first season in Westwood with a nucleus comprised of Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson, Travis and David Wear, Norman Powell and Tony Parker, as well as well as top-100 freshman Zach LaVine. Maybe that won't win you a national championship, but among Alford's peers who are rookie coaches, that's easily as good as it gets when it comes to core talent. (Just ask Eddie Jordan or Tubby Smith.)

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