John Wooden, by the numbers

Leave a comment

We’ve all read hundreds of features and columns about John Wooden’s career, but sometimes, all the adjectives and vivid descriptions aren’t enough.

So let the numbers do the talking for UCLA’s legendary men’s basketball coach.

  • Wooden won 10 NCAA tournament titles, all in a 12-year span. No other coach has more than four.
  • UCLA won seven of those in a row, from 1967-73. No other team has won more than two straight.
  • The Bruins’ 88-game win streak from 1971-74 and 38-straight NCAA tournament games from ’64-74 are both NCAA records. For good measure, UCLA also had streaks of 47- and 41-straight wins. (San Francisco is second with 60 consecutive wins; Duke won 13 straight tournament games.)
  • He never had a losing season.
  • Wooden had four unbeaten seasons. No other coach has more than one.
  • He won 80.4 percent of his games (664-162) during 29 seasons, which ranks third all-time, behind Clair Bee and Adolph Rupp.
  • He was the first person in the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and coach. (He was a star at Purdue. During one 46-game stretch, he made 134 consecutive free throws.)

And, some fun facts from this L.A. Times story, “99 Things about John Wooden

  • His top salary while coach at UCLA was $35,000.
  • At UCLA, Wooden became known as the “Wizard of Westwood,” though he disliked the nickname.
  • Inclement weather in Minnesota prevented Wooden from receiving the scheduled phone offer from the Golden Gophers. Thinking they had lost interest, Wooden accepted UCLA’s offer instead.
  • Perhaps most telling is this final stat. Think about this the next time a coach “can’t win the big one”: He coached 15 seasons at UCLA before winning his first NCAA championship.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Leave a comment

We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.


AP Poll: Syracuse, Xavier big winners in college basketball rankings

(Brad Horrigan/The Courant via AP)
Leave a comment

The new college basketball AP Poll is out, and it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to you that Syracuse and Xavier are the big winners.

The Orange steamrolled through a good Battle 4 Atlantis field, while Xavier capped a dominating performance in the Advocare Invitational with a 29-point win over Dayton. It should be no surprise that they are where they are.

[MORE RANKINGS: top 25 | Coaches Poll]

It is a bit surprising, however, that both Texas A&M and Providence made it into the polls with a loss this week. They both deserve to be there, I just wasn’t sure they were both going to be.

Anyway, here is the full poll:

1. Kentucky (59 first place votes)
2. Maryland (4)
3. Michigan State (2)
4. Kansas
5. Iowa State
6. Oklahoma
7. Duke
8. Villanova
9. North Carolina
10. Virginia
11. Purdue
12. Xavier
13. Gonzaga
14. Syracuse
15. Oregon
16. Vanderbilt
17. Cincinnati
18. Texas A&M
19. Arizona
20. West Virginia
21. Miami
22. SMU
23. Providence
24. Louisville
25. Baylor

NEW THIS WEEK: Syracuse, West Virginia, SMU, Providence, Louisville

DROPPED OUT: Indiana, Cal, UConn, LSU, Wichita State