Dec. 27, 2000
Next Up -- The Bruins will host Pepperdine (8-4) Dec. 28 at 7:00 pm and Georgia (9-2) Dec. 30 at 4:00 pm in their last two games of the 2000 year.
The Waves have four players in double-figure scoring and are led by sophomore guard Damaris Hinojosa, who posts a 14.2 points per game average. Nadja Morgan is averaging 13.3 points and 7.8 rebounds, and last season's West Coast Conference Player of the Year, Rasheeda Clark, averages 11.4 points per game. Pepperdine, which is coached by Mark Trakh, is the seventh 2000 NCAA Tournament team that UCLA has faced this year. UCLA leads the overall series with the Waves, 11-0, and won last year's contest in Malibu, 86-67. In that game, Michelle Greco contributed 20 points on 7-9 shooting and was 4-5 from three-point range.
Fourth-ranked Georgia is currently riding a seven-game winning streak and will face Georgia State in Atlanta Dec. 28 before heading west to visit the Bruins. Georgia's only two losses this year came to No. 1 Connecticut and No. 3 Notre Dame. Twins Coco and Kelly Miller, the 2000 Sullivan Award winners, lead the Lady Bulldogs with averages of 16.5 and 13.8 points, respectively. Georgia head coach Andy Landers returns four starters from his 2000 team that advanced to the NCAA West Regional Final. The series between UCLA and Georgia is split at one win apiece, with Georgia winning the last contest in 1985, 78-42 in Pauley.
Radio -- The Pepperdine game will be broadcast live on 850am and 610 am, as well as on the internet at www.uclabruins.com. The Georgia game will be aired on 850 am and on the internet.
Greco Atop Pac-10 Conference In Scoring -- Junior guard Michelle Greco entered last week ranked first in the Pac-10 Conference and 40th nationally in scoring with a 20.1 average (now 19.2). She also ranked second entering the week in free throw percentage (.864) but has since improved her numbers to what should be a league-leading .893 (25-28).
Porter Makes Impressive Debut -- Just over a week after ending her volleyball season at the Regional Final and after being named a first-team All-American, three-sport standout Kristee Porter joined the UCLA women's basketball team at Old Dominion. In her 2000-01 season debut, she gave a 10-point, nine-rebound, five-block effort against the Lady Monarchs. Against Ohio State, she scored nine points and pulled down four boards. Porter also competes for the track and field team and was a Pac-10 qualifier in the triple jump.
Keeping Up With The Joneses -- Joining Porter on the multi-sport front is freshman forward Whitney Jones, a starting midfielder on the women's soccer team that advanced to the NCAA championship game for the first time in school history. Jones saw her first action for the basketball team on Dec. 10 against Long Beach State and scored two points and grabbed three rebounds. Against Old Dominion Dec. 18, she scored 11 points in 17 minutes on 3-4 shooting from the field.
Bruins Face One of Nation's Toughest Schedules in 2000-2001 -- Seven non-conference games (Duke, Utah, BYU, San Diego, Old Dominion, Pepperdine and Georgia) will be played against teams which earned bids to the 2000 NCAA tournament. The Bruins will face NCAA tournament teams from the Pac-10 in Oregon, Arizona and Stanford, as well as WNIT teams from New Mexico, Long Beach St., Arizona St. and USC.
Bruins Picked To Finish Fifth In Pac-10 -- The Pac-10 women's basketball media picked UCLA to finish fifth in the conference in a pre-season poll. Stanford was the media's No. 1 choice, followed by Oregon, USC, Arizona, UCLA, Arizona State, Washington, California, Oregon State and Washington State.
A Look at UCLA -- Five letterwinners, including one who earned All-Pac-10 honors last season, return. Guard Michelle Greco, an honorable mention all-conference pick in 2000, offers the most experience of the returners for the Bruins. Sophomore guard Natalie Nakase came off the bench in 11 games last season. Forward Natalie Jarrett missed the start of the 2000 season while recovering from knee surgery and appeared in eight games overall. Guard Jalina Bradley, who missed 12 games with a stress fracture of the foot, saw limited action in nine games. Volleyball All-American Kristee Porter also returns to the team after redshirting last season.
Newcomers include three freshmen and three players from the Texas junior college ranks. Shalada Allen (Kilgore College) and Malika Leatham (Blinn College) will help solidify the Bruin post position. Stacy Robertson (Kilgore College) is a very capable perimeter shooter. Freshmen Jamila Veasley (Valley Christian HS) and Whitney Jones (San Clemente HS) will see action in the Bruin frontcourt. Gennifer Arranaga is a guard from Centennial HS in Corona, CA.
Head Coach Kathy Olivier -- Having just completed her seventh season (entered the 2000-01 season with a 115-85 overall record) as UCLA head coach, Kathy Olivier has steadily built the program to reflect her own positive, upbeat and outgoing personality. In 2000, she saw her team reach the NCAA tournament for a third-straight season, a school record. The squad also set a school home attendance record by averaging over 3,700 fans. Maylana Martin became just the third player to ever earn All-Pac-10 honors in four straight seasons. Olivier became just the second coach at UCLA and the 11th in the Pac-10 to earn victory number 100, which came against San Diego State.
In 1999, she led her Bruin team to the school's first ever Pac-10 conference title and an unprecedented second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance for the program. The team totaled the most wins (26) since the 1981 season and advanced further in the NCAA tournament (Regional final) than any previous UCLA team. The team put together back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since the 1970's. In addition, the 1999 Bruin team finished with its highest ranking ever (No. 7) in the USA Today poll. In 1998, she guided UCLA to what was then its best finish ever (tie for second) in the Pac-10, its best winning percentage in the last 17 seasons and the first 20-win season since 1992.
The 1999-00 Bruins Highlights --
*The Bruins advanced to the NCAA tournament for a school record third straight time
*The Bruins won at least 18 games in back-to-back-to back seasons for the first time since they did it in the 1979 (24)-80 (18)-81 (29) seasons.
*The team set a home attendance record by averaging over 3,700 fans per game
*Maylana Martin became the second-leading scorer in school history
* Janae Hubbard and Marie Philman joined the 1,000-point club
* Martin became just the third player in Pac-10 history to be named all-conference in four straight seasons
UCLA Finishes 2000 with 18-11 Record and School's Third Straight NCAA Appearance -- Coach Kathy Olivier's UCLA women's basketball team advanced to the NCAA tournament for a third straight year last season, a first for the Bruin program, and its seventh overall trip to the Big Dance. The 18 wins also marked the first time the Bruin program had won as many as 18 games in three straight seasons (26 in 1999, 20 in 1998) since the 1979 (24), 1980 (18) and 1981 (29) seasons.