The hair is blond and cut military style, not dark and parted in the middle.
His shorts are long, and he actually appears to be a point guard who can score, not necessarily a prolific scorer trying to run the offense.
No, you wouldn't know that Bryce Alford was the son of famed Indiana Hoosier Steve Alford – that is, until you watched the younger Alford run up and down the basketball court for a few possessions.
Bryce took the court with his Danny Granger D1 Ambassador squad Friday at Spiece Fieldhouse on the opening night of the Bill Hensley Memorial Run-N-Slam, and with his father sitting in the front row observing, the younger Alford put on a pretty impressive display of skill and athleticism in his own right.
“I want to be a great player,” Bryce said. “I'll do everything that I have to do to get to that level.”
In an ironic twist, Bryce's team was facing his former squad from when he lived in Iowa, the Iowa Barnstormers. Alford's team lost, but there is more for the New Mexico recruit to get done this weekend than simply win games.
“This is a first class tournament,” Alford said. “It's nice to see the talent out here. I just want to see where I am and see what I need to work on.”
Admittedly, Alford isn't the pure shooter that his dad was – few are or ever will be. Bryce kicks his legs out on his jumper, often falls away, and doesn't have that perfect follow through like Steve did. However, Steve wasn't the athlete that Bryce is.
Bryce flies up the court in transition, connecting often connects on passes that few could have envisioned at that speed.
“I think that I am a little more athletic,” Bryce said. “He was probably a better shooter (in high school), but I think shooting is one of my strengths as well. I'm working on that.”
Alford was able to alternate between the point and the shooting guard spot because his teammate, Cullen Neal, can also play both spots. Neal's father is current New Mexico assistant coach (and former Indiana All-Star) Craig Neal.
Bryce was born in North Manchester, where his father coached at Manchester College. However, his days as a Hoosier were limited.
When Steve took the coaching job at Southwest Missouri State, it began an odyssey across the country for Bryce and his family. After an eight-year stop in Iowa, Alford has spent the past five years in New Mexico. And , and he – as well as his father – love it there.
As a junior at La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, Bryce averaged more than over 24 points and five assists per game, while leading his team to a 25-6 record. he also excelled in the classroom and carries a B-plus average.
“It's a great place,” Bryce said. “I loved the Midwest when I lived here, but that was all that I knew. It was a change. There are really nice people out there, there's great weather (and) great everything.”
When you are as talented as the younger Alford, a lot of colleges will knock on your door inquiring about your services. However, just as Steve played for his father (Sam Alford), Bryce wants to keep the family tradition going and never considered attending college anywhere other than New Mexico, where his father is the head coach.
His older brother, Kory, is a sophomore walk-on for the Lobos.
“There was no pressure,” Bryce said of the decision. “I knew that he wanted me, so I didn't really feel a whole lot of pressure. That's where I wanted to go. I've always wanted to play for my dad, and New Mexico is a great place to play.”
Bryce said that though he'll eventually suit up for the Lobos, it is actually his grandfather (Sam), who was also in attendance on Friday, who has spent more time breaking his game down than his father. The veteran Indiana high school coach watches Bryce's high school games on the computer and also visits New Mexico every season to watch him play in person.
“He'll coach me just as much as my dad,” Bryce said. “He'll call me after every one of my games.”
With the success that Steve has had at New Mexico (he's won more than over 73 percent of his games), the coach's name comes up just about every spring as a candidate for any number of high-level coaching jobs. However, Bryce doesn't believe that his family will be relocating anytime soon.
“If there was something going on, I would be the first person that he would tell,” Bryce said. “If he were to go anywhere, which I know that he is not, I would follow him. But he's not going anywhere for a long time. He loves it (there).”