Nov. 3, 2000
Coming Up -- The UCLA women's basketball team, 18-11 in 2000 and ranked pre-season No. 19 by Basketball News, will see its first action in a Monday, Nov. 6 exhibition against Slovakia. The game will take place at 7:00 pm in Pauley Pavilion. UCLA will quickly jump into regular season play, opening the 2000-2001 year at the Women's Sports Foundation Basketball Classic in Albuquerque, NM. The Bruins will take on No. 5 Duke (26-8 in 2000) in the opener on Friday, Nov. 10 at 5:00 pm PT and will face either No. 8 LSU (25-7 in 2000) or host New Mexico (18-11 in 2000) on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 5:00 or 7:00 pm PT.
Women's Sports Foundation Basketball Classic -- The Women's Sports Foundation Basketball Classic will be held Nov. 10-11 at The Pit on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. In the first matchup, UCLA will take on Duke, followed by LSU vs. New Mexico. The winners of the two games on Nov. 10 will meet in the championship game Nov. 11, while the other two teams will play a consolation game. All three visiting teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season, with LSU advancing to the Elite Eight, Duke going to the Sweet 16 and UCLA playing in the first round.
The Series Against Duke -- UCLA and Duke have faced each other in 1997 and 1998. The series is knotted at one, with UCLA winning, 93-83, at Duke in Dec. of 1997, and Duke winning, 85-80, in Dec. of 1998 at UCLA. In the last game against Duke, UCLA's Michelle Greco had six points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists off the bench, while Duke's Georgia Schweitzer burned the Bruins with 22 points, including 3-4 shooting from beyond the arc. Also returning from that game for Duke are starter Rochelle Parent (13 points, six rebounds) and reserve Krista Gingrich (three points).
UCLA In Season Openers -- The Bruins are 19-7 all-time in season openers and won their opener, also at a tournament, last season against North Carolina, 69-65. This is the third consecutive year UCLA has faced a Top 20 team in its season opener. In 1999, the Bruins defeated No. 8 North Carolina, and in 1998, UCLA lost to No. 17 Notre Dame, 82-99.
LSU Meeting Not In Cards? -- UCLA and LSU have seen quite a bit of each other in recent years but have not had the pleasure of meeting on the court lately despite playing in the same tournaments. Should the teams face off at the Women's Sports Foundation Classic, it would be the first time in three tournaments that the teams will actually play each other. LSU was in the NCAA West Regional in 1998 along with UCLA at the Sports Arena, but the teams did not play, as LSU lost to Louisiana Tech in the other half of the regional semifinal. The Tigers were also in the field at last year's Four in the Fall Classic in Lubbock, TX, but the two teams again failed to square off. When they actually have played each other, LSU and UCLA have split four games. The teams have not met since January of 1984, when LSU beat the Bruins, 101-87, in Louisiana.
Looking Ahead -- UCLA will open the regular season home schedule against Utah on Friday night, Jan. 17 at 7:00 pm in Pauley Pavilion. Utah was 23-8 last season and advanced to the NCAA first round. The series with Utah is tied at 1-1, and UCLA is 19-7 all-time in home openers, including an 84-77 overtime win a year ago against Texas.
Bruins Face One of Nation's Toughest Schedules In 2000 -- 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 also face NCAA tournament teams from the Pac-10 in Oregon, Arizona and Stanford as well as WNIT teams from Arizona State and USC. A local matchup with Long Beach State and a trip to Colorado are also on tap. UCLA also faces a potential matchup with NCAA Elite Eight participant LSU in the Women's Sports Foundation Classic Nov. 11.
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.
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 -- Six letterwinners, including three who have earned All-Pac-10 honors in past seasons return. Guards LaCresha Flannigan (All-Conf. in 1999), Michelle Greco (hon. mention All-Conf. in 2000) and Nicole Kaczmarski (Pac-10 all-freshman in 2000) offer the most experience of the returners for the Bruins. Sophomore guard Natalie Nakase came off the bench in 11 games last season. Forward Nata lie 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 an games, saw limited action in nine games. Volleyball All-America Kristee Porter will also return 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. Freshman Jamila Veasley (Valley Christian HS) and Whitney Jones (San Clemente, CA HS and also a member of soccer team) will see action in the Bruin frontcourt. Gennifer Arranaga is a guard from Centennial HS in Corona, CA.
Multi-Sport Stars Will Join Team In December -- Two of UCLA's finest athletes will join the Bruin squad in December - three-sport standout Kristee Porter and two-sport athlete Whitney Jones. Porter is a star player on the UCLA women's volleyball team, earning all-district and all-conference honors her first two seasons and All-America honors in 1999. She has set numerous UCLA and Pac-10 records in just three seasons for coach Andy Banachowski. Porter also competes in the triple jump for the UCLA women's track and field team and qualified for the Pac-10 Championships on that event. Jones is a starting midfielder for the highly-ranked UCLA women's soccer team in just her first season and currently has two assists in 16 games played.
Veteran Guards To Return In December -- UCLA is also expected to regain the services of guards Nicole Kaczmarski and LaCresha Flannigan by mid-December. Kaczmarski, a Pac-10 All-Freshman guard a year ago, is taking the fall quarter of school off for personal reasons. She is expected to return to UCLA by December 16. Flannigan, a first-team All-Pac-10 performer as a sophomore, is academically ineligible to participate with the team during the first quarter of school. She could also return to the team as early as Dec. 16.
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
Head Coach Kathy Olivier -- Just completed her seventh season (owns 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 school record third straight season. The squad also set a Bruin 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 ever 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 young and dynamic Bruin coach originally joined the UCLA staff in the summer of 1986. In her seven seasons as an assistant, the team enjoyed five winning seasons and reached the NCAA Tournament twice in the last four years. This season, UCLA continued its streak of being the only team in the Pac-10 to have at least one player named to the all-conference squad in each of the league's 13 years, all seasons with Olivier on staff.
Player Bio Updates
#1 Natalie Nakase -- Saw action in 11 games off the bench last season ... Knows the system well ... Her three points vs. San Diego State were her season best.
#4 Kristee Porter -- Volleyball All-America who is expected to join the team in mid-December ... Saw action in four games during the 1999 season and redshirted last year ... Also a member of the track team and has scored at the Conference championship meet in the triple jump.
#10 Whitney Jones -- Starting midfielder on the soccer team who is expected to join the team in mid-December ... League Player of the Year last season at San Clemente High School ... Holds the school record for points in a game, steals in a season and single-season field goal percentage ... Team advanced to the CIF finals her junior season.
#13 Gennifer Arranaga -- Outstanding athlete who helped her Centennial High School team to a pair of league titles ... Served as team captain the past two seasons ... Advanced to the finals of the 100-meter event at the CIF meet as a prep freshman.
#14 Natalie Jarrett -- Appeared in eight games last season ... Saw her first action on Dec. 17 at Cal State Fullerton ... Missed the first six games of the season while recovering from off-season knee surgery ... Had best of six points vs. Washington last season.
#20 Michelle Greco -- Selected to the honorable mention all-conference team ... Starter in six games last season and nine for her career ... Has scored an average of 14.2 points in starting assignments ... Third in the Pac-10 last season in steals (2.2) and hit 86% of her free throws ... Ranked second on the team in assists in each of her first two seasons ... Scored a career-best 26 points at Stanford last year.
#21 Jalina Bradley -- Played in nine games last season ... Missed 12 games in mid-season after fracturing her right foot ... Had a high game of four points vs. Washington ... Hit all four of her free throws last season.
#23 Nicole Kaczmarski -- Granted permission to miss the first quarter of school for personal reasons ... Expected back in mid-December ... Selected to the first-team All-Pac-10 freshman team ...Led the team with 36 made three-point shots, including a school record seven treys at Washington State last season ... Hit her last 19 straight free throws of the season to approach the school record of 24 ... Last season ranked second in the Pac-10 in free throw shooting (.841) and ninth in three-point shooting (.356).
#32 Malika Leatham -- Transfer from Blinn Junior College in Texas ... Ranked eighth in Region XIV in rebounding last season ... Second on her team with 46 blocked shots ... Scored a career-best 20 points vs. Western Texas as a freshman.
#33 Shalada Allen -- Transfer from Kilgore Junior College in Texas ... Ranked 10th last season in Region XIV in both scoring and rebounding ... Scored a career-best 36 points against TVCC.
#35 Jamila Veasley -- Four-time all-league selection in high school ... First-team all-CIF the last two seasons ... Named co-MVP of her league ... Her sister, Aisha, played at UCLA from 1995-98.
#42 Stacy Robertson -- Transfer from Kilgore Junior College in Texas ... Named to the 10-player JC All-Region XIV and all-conference teams last season ... Ranked third in the Region in three-point shooting ... Ranked 12th in the Region in scoring.
#45 LaCresha Flannigan -- Academically ineligible for the first quarter and could rejoin the Bruin team in mid-December ... Has 28 career starts ... 1999 All-Conference selection.