Jan. 26, 2009
LOS ANGELES - For the last two seasons, UCLA has honored its NCAA Championship men's basketball teams. In 2007, UCLA celebrated the 40th anniversary of Coach John Wooden's 1967 squad and last season, did the same for the 40th anniversary of his 1968 team.
This year, the Bruins will honor three of Coach Wooden's NCAA Championship squads -- his first two national title teams of 1964 (45th anniversary) and 1965 (44th anniversary) will be honored on Saturday, Jan. 31 in Pauley Pavilion (UCLA hosts Stanford/tip at 12:30 p.m.). On Saturday, March 7 (final home game, UCLA vs. Oregon/tip TBD), Coach Wooden's 1969 squad (40th anniversary) will be honored. Each reunion consists of a reception (before the game for each team's coaches, players and families) and a halftime ceremony.
1964 NCAA Championship Team -- The Tradition Begins
John Wooden was in his 16th season as the Bruin head coach when he directed UCLA to its first NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. The starting guards were senior co-captain Walt Hazzard (18.6 ppg/4.7 rpg) and junior Gail Goodrich (21.5 ppg/5.2 rpg). Starting at center was senior Fred Slaughter (7.9 ppg/8.1 rpg) while the starting forwards were, senior co-captain Jack Hirsch (14.0 ppg/7.6 rpg) and junior Keith Erickson (10.7 ppg/9.1 rpg).
The Bruins recorded the school's first-ever 30-0 unbeaten record and also won the conference title (AAWU) with a perfect 15-0 mark. At the NCAA Final Four (Kansas City, MO), UCLA defeated Kansas State 90-84 (March 20) in a semi-final contest, led by Erickson's 28 points and Hazzard's 19. In the NCAA Championship game, the Bruins beat Duke 98-83 (March 21). In the victory over the Blue Devils, sophomore Kenny Washington came off the bench to score 26 points and Goodrich added 27.
Hazzard was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four, earned All-American honors for the second consecutive season and was named the nation's Player of the Year (Helms Athletic Foundation/USBWA). Hazzard, who at the conclusion of 1964 was UCLA's all-time leading scorer (1,401 points), Goodrich and Hirsch all were named first-team All-AAWU.
1965 NCAA Championship Team -- The Tradition Continues
The Bruins, under Coach Wooden, won their second consecutive NCAA Championship, finishing with an overall mark of 28-2 (UCLA lost the first game of the season, at Illinois 110-83/Dec. 4 and on Jan. 29, lost to Iowa 87-82 in a game at Chicago, IL Stadium). UCLA ended the season with a 15-game winning streak and during its four NCAA Tournament games, averaged an even 100 points per contest. UCLA won the AAWU with a perfect 14-0 record.
Joining senior co-captains, guard Gail Goodrich (24.8 ppg/5.3 rpg) and forward Keith Erickson (12.9 ppg/8.8 rpg), in the starting lineup were junior guard Freddie Goss (12.2 ppg/3.3 rpg), junior center Doug McIntosh (6.5 ppg/5.6 rpg) and sophomore forward Edgar Lacey (11.6 ppg/10.2 rpg).
At the NCAA Final Four (Portland, OR), in a semi-final game, the Bruins beat Wichita State 108-89 (March 19), behind Goodrich's 28 points and Lacey's 24. In the Championship contest, UCLA defeated Michigan 91-80 (March 20). At the Final Four, Goodrich, a two-time Final Four All-Tournament selection, scored a two-game total of 70 points (28 vs. Wichita State/42 vs. Michigan). His 42 points in the National Championship game was an NCAA record, broken in 1973 when UCLA's Bill Walton scored 44 points in the Bruins' 87-66 win over Memphis State. Goodrich, UCLA's top scorer on the Bruins' first two NCAA Championship teams and the school's leading scorer (1,690) following 1965, earned first-team All-American honors and joined Erickson as an All-Conference selection.
1969 NCAA Championship Team -- Three-peat
Coach Wooden directed the Bruins to their third consecutive NCAA Championship (at the time, UCLA became the only school to win three straight national titles) and fifth in a six-year span (1964-65-67-68-69). UCLA finished 29-1 overall. The Bruins started the season 25-0. UCLA then lost to USC in Pauley Pavilion 46-44 (March 8 -- it was UCLA's first loss in Pauley). The Bruins went on to win their next four games, all NCAA contests, to earn their third consecutive NCAA title. UCLA also won the first Pacific-8 conference crown, with a 13-1 mark.
The season marked the end of his UCLA career for the 7-foot-1 and 1/2-inch center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor). He led the Bruins to an overall three-year record (1967-68-69) of 88-2, three consecutive NCAA Championships and is the only player in history to be named three-time NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player. In 1969, Abdul-Jabbar earned the first ever Naismith Trophy, given to the nation's top player.
Joining senior co-captain Abdul-Jabbar (24.0 ppg/14.6 rpg) in the starting lineup were guards, junior John Vallely (11.0 ppg/3.2 rpg) and senior Ken Heitz (6.5 ppg/2.3 rpg) and forwards, sophomore Curtis Rowe (12.9 ppg/7.6 rpg) and senior co-captain Lynn Shackelford (7.0 ppg/4.0 rpg).
In the NCAA Final Four (Louisville, KY) in a semi-final game, the Bruins beat Drake 85-82 (March 20) and were led by Vallely's 29 points and Abdul-Jabbar's 25. In the NCAA Championship contest, UCLA defeated Coach Wooden's alma mater, Purdue, 92-72 (March 21), as Abdul-Jabbar scored 37 points with 20 rebounds.
For the third consecutive season, Abdul-Jabbar earned first-team All-American honors and was joined on the All-Conference team by Rowe. At the end of his Bruin career, Abdul-Jabbar left UCLA as the school's all-time leading scorer (2,325) and rebounder (1,367) and still holds the top five positions on the Bruin career individual single-game scoring chart (No. 1 with 61 points in UCLA's 100-78 victory over Washington State on Feb. 25, 1967 in Pauley Pavilion).