Tuesday, March 01, 2005

College Hoops
Here we are in March and the sponsors of betting pools everywhere are starting to salivate over the "March Madness" to come. People who don't watch a single game can get so caught up in these pools that it is reminiscent of the fever people had for Dot Com stocks in the 1990s. I mention this on the 30th anniversary of the retirement of one of the best college coaches ever, John Wooden. His record speaks volumes and will never be equaled as long as athletes skip graduating from college for the lure of the pros. This is part of what John Wooden accomplished:

  • UCLA record: 620-147
  • Led Bruins to four 30-0 seasons (1963-64, 1966-67, 1971-72, 1972-73)
  • Led Bruins to 88 consecutive victories
  • Led Bruins to 38 straight NCAA tournament victories
  • Led Bruins to 149-2 record at Pauley Pavilion
  • Led Bruins to 19 PAC 10 championships
  • Led Bruins to 10 national championships, including seven in a row (1966-73)

One of his favorite teams was his last in 1975. No big names like Walton or Lew Alcindor, just a solid team that played good basketball and won the NCAA title. Wooden didn't view much film of his opponents. He didn't care if a certain player liked to drive the baseline, only because he taught all of his players to never let anyone drive the baseline. If only the players today were taught so well. Turn on a professional basketball game now and you will see a generation of players more concerned with slam dunks and posing for the cameras than they are for playing good team defense and fundamentally sound basketball. It's all kinda sad and is the main reason I don't watch any college hoops now and very little of the so-called professionals.

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