Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John Wooden and the influence of his assistant, Jerry Norman, whose contributions Wooden  ignored and tried to bury.

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. The players tell their stories in their own words.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information. Also available on Kindle.


Sports Medley: College football predictions & UCLAís football future 28 Dec 15

by Tony Medley

Cotton Bowl, Dec. 31: Alabama over Michigan State. MSU doesnít belong in this elite company. First of all, it is in the Big Ten, which is the most overrated sports conference in America. They are hopelessly incestuous, playing most, if not all, their games with each other. So just because they have a good record in the Big Ten, that doesnít mean they compete with the Stanfords and Alabamas of this world. Their dismal record in road games against the Pac-12  shows that. Since 1993, the Big Ten is 5-25-1 on the road against the Pac-12. Second, MSU wouldnít be there but for a fluke win over Michigan, when they scored the winning touchdown on a botched punt by the Michigan punter on the last play of the game. MSUís quarterback, Conner Cook, has not impressed me when Iíve seen him. On top of that, Alabama has the second best defense, if not the best team, in the country, although Iíve only seen them play once.

Orange Bowl, Dec 31: Oklahoma over Clemson. I havenít seen either team play, but Clemson has had several close calls, over Notre Dame, Louisville, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Oklahoma has been hot, outscoring its opponents 556-242 for an average margin of victory of 26 points, both my parents are from Oklahoma, and my mother went to OU. If thatís not convincing, I canít help you.

Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 1: Notre Dame over Ohio State. Ohio State probably has the best team in the Big Ten, which, as I indicated above, is damning with faint praise, but Notre Dame is only four points from being undefeated, losing to two of the five top rated teams in the country, Clemson and Stanford by two points each.

Rose Bowl, Jan 1: Stanford over Iowa. Iowa is another Big Ten cheese champ, couldnít even beat MSU in a final drive during which MSUís freshman running back, LJ Scott, carried the ball almost every time, whereas Stanford should be in the final four. They are defensively challenged, but that shouldnít affect them against Iowa whose offense is nothing to write home about. Iowa played in the weakest section of the Big 10 and didnít have to face Ohio State or Michigan, and when faced with MSU, lost. Iíve been impressed with Stanford every time Iíve seen them play this year. If they were in the final four, Iíd pick them to at least make the finals against Alabama.

The others? Who cares? There are so many bowl games now that they have become meaningless. Imagine UCLA (8-4) playing Nebraska (5-7) in a post season bowl game! Ridiculous. Bowl games used to be rewards for success. When a team that loses 60% of its games gets invited to a bowl game, itís a symbol of how trivial they have become.

All that said, as sleazy mutual fund salesmen might say in their fine print, past performance is no guarantee of future success.

UCLAís football future: UCLA proved that for Jim Mora to improve, he has to replace both his offensive (who calls more bubble screens than Lawrence Welk) and defensive coordinators. UCLAís defense has been a joke ever since Mora arrived. In losing to Nebraska, they allowed the Cornhuskers (only the 6th team to beat a Pac-12 team on the road, since 1993) 500 yards in total offense last week, the defense against the run nothing but a faint dream. Even when UCLA wins, its opponents run wild. In what was called a ďrout,Ē UCLA beat Arizona 56-30, but Arizona rolled up 468 yards of total offense. Worse, once again UCLA is a penalty cornucopia, finishing 124 out of 127 teams. Wake up, Jim. A head coach is only as good as his assistant coaches. The greatest football coach in UCLA history, Red Sanders, was loaded with brilliant assistants, including future Hall of Fame coach Tommy Prothro and Jim Myers, who became Tom Landryís assistant head coach with the Dallas Cowboys during their glory years. Until Mora upgrades his staff, UCLA will struggle.

 

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