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. Notre Dame Coach Digger Phelps said, "I used this book as an inspiration for the biggest win of my career when we ended UCLA's all-time 88-game winning streak in 1974."

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. Click the Book to read the players telling their stories in their own words. This is the book that UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan tried to ban.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information.


UCLA Basketball: NFL Football 20 Jan 08

 by Tony Medley

1. UCLA Basketball: I guess Iím the only one in Los Angeles who is not surprised that SC beat UCLA. UCLA fans look at their team through rose-colored glasses. All they could see was 14-1, whatís to criticize? The fans and press couldnít see the deficiencies I pointed out last week, not realizing that UCLA not only runs an inept offense, it canít realize that they have a player who should be the most dominant player in the country in Kevin Love. They still canít get the ball to him. Instead of averaging 16 points a game, he should be averaging 30. He should have his hands on the ball every possession. He should be the no. 1 option every time UCLA comes down on offense. But Collison and Westbrook still have to dribble away most of the offense. Even Josh Shipp, the second best player on the team and the second best shooter (behind Love, who can hit from anywhere), doesnít get many touches. The UCLA offense is so out of kilter that itís a burden to watch it. UCLA better remember history. In 1966 UCLA annihilated Oregon State at Pauley. I remember that we were rooting for UCLA to keep OSU under 30 points for the entire game (they finally scored 35 to UCLAís 79). But when they went up to Corvallis later in the season, with the conference title on the line, they lost 64-51, and missed getting into the NCAA playoffs. UCLA beat Washington State easily at Pauley this year, but it wonít be the same at Pullman later in the year. If UCLA doesnít improve its offense and get the ball to Love more, it wouldnít be a major upset if WSU beats UCLA up there.

2. AFC Championship Game: San Diego started out pressuring Brady, to good effect. The first three times NE had the ball they did nothing. Then SD stopped pressuring Brady, even though NE was playing most of the time without a running back, so they had to pass. In one of the more glaring stupidities of the game, with the score7-6 and NE inside the SD 10, SD rushed only three men. Brady, with all the time in the world, calmly threw a TD pass.

How ill-prepared are these people? With 3rd and 1 on the NE 3 at the beginning of the 3rd quarter and the score 14-9, SD had to call a time out to come to the conclusion they should run an off tackle play, which turned out disastrously anyway because Junior Seau wasnít blocked and since the runner had to run wide since there was no hole off tackle, he was dumped for a two yard loss, forcing them to kick a field goal. With their league-leading running back on the bench and their quarterback hobbled, they had to score a touchdown on this possession or their chances were slim and none. So they really had to run the ball straight ahead twice because their offensive line was handling NE pretty well. But compounding stupidity of the play call was the time out. You need a time out to try to decide what to run in this situation? What do you practice for? What do you play the season for? If you donít know what youíre going to run in this situation in the playoffs, you donít belong in the big leagues.

Then, on the biggest play of the game, with NE in possession at 3rd & 11 on the NE 22 with 7 minutes left and SD trailing by 9, they didnít blitz and Brady completed an easy swing pass for the first down. Then SD called another time out. They needed two scores, only had a little over 5 minutes remaining, and they called timeout on first down for no reason. And, despite the timeout and ability to think by SDís ďbrain trustĒ you should pardon the expression, SD still didnít blitz Brady! In the Super Bowl, NE wonít face a team as dumb as SD.

3. NFC Championship: As with the UCLA basketball game, I guess I was the only one who thought the Giants had a good chance against the Packers. In fact, I think the Giants have had the best team in the NFL the last month of the season. NYG had the same situation as SD with 9 minutes left in the third quarter with a 3rd and 1 on the three. Unlike the Chargers, however, they were smart enough to go straight ahead and made it.

The Giants were clearly the better team. Their defense is tough and their offense moved pretty easily. It went into overtime because the Giants made two horrible errors, one on pass coverage that resulted in a 90-yard TD, and one fumbling the ball back after they had intercepted to stop a Packer drive. Green Bay was pretty ineffective all day long, mainly because of the superb NY defense. These errors were exacerbated by a terrible call by the officials of unnecessary roughness on NYG after they had held GB on third and long, which would have forced them into a long field goal try. The penalty, far away from the play and after the play, gave GB a first down and they immediately scored a touchdown.

NYís only weakness is a slow secondary. Thatís a real weakness and why they have to blitz, because Iím not sure they have anyone who can cover Moss and the rest of NEís receivers. Thatís why itís important that they keep the pressure on Brady, as they did on Favre today.

Eli Manning has improved immeasurably. The Giants have perfected the underthrown timing pass, where the pass is thrown underneath the defender, better than anyone in the league. Itís a play that is virtually undefensible when itís thrown right and Manning is the best in the league at it. If anyone can beat NE, itís the Giants, so Iím pleased with this matchup. The people who set the NFL lines are rarely wrong. They were wrong in 1997 when they made Green Bay prohibitive favorites over Denver and I won a big pool that year by picking Denver. As I write, the line is NE by 12.5. That looks very inviting to me because I think everyone is underrating the Giants.

 

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