If he HAD a company, I’d buy stock in it.

UConn Women’s 78th straight win completes consecutive perfect Championship Seasons, but their Coach states emphatically:  This accomplishment does NOT put him in the company of John Wooden

For 20 minutes, the UConn Huskies played like the Worst-Coached team you’ve ever seen.  After taking a quick 5-0 lead, the Huskies gave up 12 straight, while going over 10 minutes without scoring a single point.  They actually missed SIXTEEN STRAIGHT SHOTS.  If it weren’t for Stanford missing several wide open lay-ups themselves, the terribly-undisciplined Huskies would have been down by 20.  The Huskies had absolutely no Offensive rhythm, and even their two big stars couldn’t do anything.  How can a team be “flat” — unprepared and unmotivated — in a Title game?

During the 1st Half, the Coach did nothing to settle his team down, and he seemed to make no adjustments, as Stanford outhustled and outmuscled the Huskies to a 20-12 Halftime score.  That’s right, TWELVE points at Halftime.  If this was the only Half you’d ever seen them play, you would have never believed that they had won 77 straight.  The defending Champs shot 18% from the floor.  The 32 total points was the lowest total for a Half in Finals History, the deficit was UConn’s biggest of the whole streak, and the Half was the worst and lowest-scoring that UConn has EVER had.

It actually looked like Stanford had a decent chance to upset the mighty Huskies.  But UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma got through to his team during the break.  He finally calmed them down, and basically told them to be more patient.  And when they came out, they went on an immediate 17-2 tear, and never looked back.  UConn Superstar Maya Moore snapped out of her funk, and carried the team on her back.  After she hit a couple of shots, the whole team resumed the roll that they have been on for so long, and they built the lead up to 16 with 2:40 left.

As bad as UConn’s offense was in the 1st Half, Stanford’s Offense was equally atrocious in the 2nd Half.  They scored only 2 points in the first 8 minutes after the break, and they made only 3 of their first 26 2nd Half shots.  They were “led” in the brick parade by an INJURED Jayne Appel, who was hobbled by an ankle injury, but still effective underneath… in posting up and sealing off her defender, and getting the ball to the rim.  But all 12 of her shot attempts in the game glanced OFF the rim.  And some of those shots were barely-contested lay-ups.  She is apparently a top player, who just couldn’t get any push off her ankle, and it severely affected her shooting touch.  OR, she was channelling Butler’s Matt Howard, who on Monday night, had similar trouble dropping the ball through the hoop, even at point-blank range, despite an enormous, lion-hearted effort.

So one bad Appel spoiled the whole night.  Again, it’s not her fault — She was a real trooper, playing through pain that probably would have had ME praying for relief and then contemplating suicide.  But Heart notwithstanding, Appel and the frigid Cardinal blew the amazing opportunity that their great 1st Half Defense had afforded them.

When the Cardinal fell down 47-31 with under 3 minutes to play, TV’s around the Country switched over from ESPN to Network Prime Time programming, but Stanford did not quit.  They actually fought back with a lot of guts, cutting the lead all the way down to 7, with 70 seconds to go, and down to 5, with 8 seconds to go.  But UConn would have had to miss every single one of their Free Throws for Stanford to survive, and the Huskies were able to sink just enough to get thier trophy, with a 53-47 victory.

As if the embarrassing First Half performance didn’t prove it, the BEST of Women’s Basketball is still Women’s Basketball, and NO comparisons or correlations should ever be drawn between that Sport and the one we call Men’s Basketball (And yes, I realize that Butler had long Field Goal droughts in both their Final Four games, but it is just not the same).  78 Lady Wins PLUS 10 MORE NEXT YEAR, does NOT equal UCLA’s 88 Straight.  Not even close.  Sure, I give credit to Pat Summit as well as to Geno Auriemma, for their remarkable accomplishments.  But when the ESPN Postgame Interviewer asked Auriemma how it felt to be in the company of John Wooden, who is the only other Coach to achieve back-to-back perfect Championship Seasons, I wanted to bitch-slap her.  Luckily, Auriemma did it for me.

He immediately jumped all over her — POLITELY — by flatly contradicting her premise.  He laughed at the ridiculous notion, then stammered as he found the right words with which to educate her.  And those words were:  “There is no COMPANY.  He HAS no company.”  Auriemma, who has carried around a book by Wooden during this whole 78-game, 2-year winning streak, then added:  “He’s a pretty special Coach and special guy.”

I now have more respect for Mr. Auriemma.  That’s Class:  Even right after the buzzer of an ultra-emotional win, he still had the composure and humility to make sure that the Nation knows that this is NOT Men’s Basketball, and he is NOT John Wooden.  But even though I like the guy now, and even though their 89th win would NOT truly break Wooden’s record, I am still rooting for them to lose before they get there — Because not everyone is as enlightened as Auriemma, and ESPN’s East Coast Hype Machine will certainly blow it out of proportion.  At least it will re-publicize the greatest Dynasty in the History of Sports, possibly educating some young, high school Basketball Stars who may not have been totally aware of UCLA’s past dominance.


Below are 15 UCLA Dance Team photos, and because now the Countdown to the Reception is at just FOUR days, all 15 shots are “foursomes.”  And, as always:  Click on the pics to enlarge them, and hover the cursor over them to make a hidden caption pop up — Today’s captions are about the UConn game, and a few other topics, like Russell Westbrook, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and Ben Howland.

Here is a link for details and RSVP instructions, for the UCLA Spirit Squad Fan Afternoon Reception, Sunday April 11th, 4p-6p.  Come see Rick and Norm discuss “The Pistol” while you shoot the breeze with the Cheerleaders.


Let’s start with a pre-emptive apology to “BL” — Today is all Dance Team, only because I didn’t have any 4-shots of Cheer Squad in my “ready” folder.  Sorry!!

Note about UConn’s 78-game streak:  Last night’s 6-point win was the ONLY game that they DIDN’T win by double-digits.

Some of the 3-point attempts were just lofted up there, ala Malcolm Lee.  BTW:  Mike Moser transferred.

Apparently, Bill Walton is rooting for UConn to win more than 88 straight, sort of an ANTI-’72DOLPHIN mentality, that I don’t quite understand.

Russell Westbrook scored 27 last night for the Playoff-bound Thunder, who scored 139 points… and still lost.

In case you didn’t know, “The Pistol” is a modified Shotgun formation that the Bruins have been utilizing exclusively in their Spring practices, that is supposed to help the Running game.

The Best the Women have to offer?  Stanford: 18-for-68 from the Field; UConn: 9-for-22 from the Line.

UConn’s Tina Charles had 6 Blocks, and was huge in shutting down the Cardinal in the 2nd Half.

If you were worried (or excited) about the “Howland to DePaul” rumors, you can relax — They hired someone else.

Mbah a Moute’s Milwaukee Bucks clinched a Playoff spot last night, by beating Taj Gibson and Chicago, who is now 1 game OUT of the Playoffs.

… of course, the Bucks have no chance to advance, now that their Star Center Andrew Bogut is injured.

But don’t take my word for it:  I didn’t think Butler or Stanford had a chance this weekend either.

Despite recent rumors, I do NOT consider Ben Howland to be on “the hot seat” right now.  Another bad season would put him there, but I don’t think it would get him fired.

It will take THREE new contributors for UCLA to turn it around next year:  One Rebounder, one Shooter, and one Ball Handler.

…and it looks like they have all three coming in.  That’s it for today… still more coming soon.


4 responses to ““HE HAS NO COMPANY””

  1. Tara Avatar

    True sports fans will never forget what John Wooden did for college basketball… We get it, they were good… Plus UConn — they’re women–they wouldn’t be close to touching the prestige of men’s college basketball. Look at Brett Favre–he has 1 super bowl ring. Ben Roethlisberger has 2. Do you think people dare forget what Favre has done for the game (and place Big Ben above him), despite Favre’s late-game, game-losing interceptions? NO, he’s a consensus Hall-of-Famer. He won’t be forgetten [sic]. I think you understand my point by now.

    [T-H’s Note: This message has been edited, to remove all the nastiness. TARA: I don’t “approve for publication” rude insults of myself or of the Program, in feedback comments on MY web site. And besides, “arrogance” is a trojan trait. Do you think the Jews are arrogant for wanting people to remember the Holocaust? I just want people to understand the relative value of certain historical events, and you would be surprised how many people born in the 80’s and later have no clue about the greatest Sports Dynasty ever (OR about the Nazis, for that matter).]

  2. SVCA to SCMO Avatar
    SVCA to SCMO

    I think the only way to make women’s basketball watchable, and the best way to make it even remotely comparable to the men’s game, is to lower the basket for them from 10′ to 9-1/2′. I realize that it won’t happen, but it should, because people don’t want to spend their precious time watching college’s “best” miss wide open layups repeatedly.

    I won’t spend time on the logistics now, but I think it could be worked out.

  3. Jake Avatar

    I agree with SVCA, even the highlights were boring.

  4. BL Avatar

    Thanks for the pre-emptive apology. And, it will actually be nice to include the Cheer Squad guys too.