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Previewing the 2015 Maui Invitational field: UCLA

The Bruins will look to make their third straight Sweet 16 under Steve Alford this season.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Steve Alford era in UCLA has certainly started off on the right foot. In Alford's first two seasons as head coach, the Bruins have gone a combined 50-23 with back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

But for a program that boasts the most championships in all of college basketball, does this year's Bruins team have enough firepower to make another run deep into March?

Offseason roundup

The biggest loss for UCLA this offseason was last year's leading scorer, Norman Powell, who graduated after leading the team with just over 16 points per game in 2014-15. The Bruins also lost Kevon Looney to the NBA Draft, as the Wisconsin big-man decided to go pro after nearly averaging a double-double last season.

However Bryce Alford and Tony Parker both return, and they are joined by a recruiting class that features two ESPN Top 100 prospects in Prince Ali and Aaron Holiday

Their season so far

The UCLA season couldn't have gotten off to any worse of a start, as the Bruins fell at home in overtime against Monmouth on opening night. They've since rebounded with two straight wins against Cal Poly and Pepperdine. But after Maui their non-conference schedule doesn't get any easier.

They still have top-25 teams Kentucky, Gonzaga and North Carolina all on their schedule within the next month.

Key players

Steve Alford's son, Bryce, is probably the biggest scoring threat on the UCLA roster this season. Alford can knock down 3-pointers at an exceptional clip, and he's already shooting 39 percent from downtown through three games this season.

Parker has been their best all-around player on the year, as he has averaged 16 points per game and has already pulled down 48 rebounds on the season, which leads the nation.

Top recruit Aaron Holiday is also a player to watch for in Maui and going forward, with solid all-around averages of 11.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and four assists so far through his first three collegiate games.

UCLA opens up Maui with a matchup against UNLV, before facing either Kansas or Chaminade.