‘Over-prepared’ first time, UCLA will be ready for IU

‘Over-prepared’ first time, UCLA will be ready for IU

by Bob Hammel, H-T Sports Editor

March 23, 1976

From the March 23, 1976 Bloomington Daily Herald – Telephone

Gene Bartow’s post-game remarks last Saturday included a puzzling reference to having felt that his UCLA team was “over-prepared” for its season opener against Indiana – an 84-64 victory for the Hoosiers over the team they meet again Saturday in the NCAA semifinals at Philadelphia.

Over-prepared?

“We spent 10 hours going through Indiana’s offense last time,” Bartow said. “We’ll walk through it in 10 minutes this time.

“We’re going to emphasize what UCLA can do, not what Indiana does.

“I’ve usually never been caught up in what an opponent does. But the Indiana game was my first as UCLA’s coach and, as I’ve said, I over-prepared my team and put too much pressure on them.”

Bartow admitted he got an angrier reaction after the game from UCLA fans than he expected. “Yes, losing that game was awful,” he said, “but things are never as bad as they seem.”

And now, the Bruins are 26-4 – only the ornery or the real John Wooden diehards note that the worst UCLA record in Wooden’s last nine years was 26-4 – and back in the Final Four for the 10th straight year.

“We’re healthy, excited and it shapes up as a super game,” Bartow said. “Indiana has proven that it is an excellent basketball team. They’re sound in every phase of the game and have an outstanding coach in Bobby Knight.”

The Bruins have used their bench liberally. Nine players have scored at least 100 points, although forwards Richard Washington and Marques Johnson are the dependables – Washington with a 20.6 point average and 8.9 rebounds, Johnson with 17.0 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.

The only Bruin starter shooting below .500 is guard Andre McCarter, who has improved his accuracy by miles in logging a .465 mark this year. Last year he shot .359.

As a team, UCLA is shooting .505; the current starters average .515.

Indiana’s comparative figures are .519 as a team, .529 for the starters. Both teams have had good success in rebounding, Indiana coming up with 53.7 percent of available rebounds and UCLA 53.1 percent.

In the opening game between the two teams, rebounds were virtually even, Indiana leading, 39-38. David Greenwood, the Bruins’ 6-11 freshman center, played only a few minutes in that game and scored two points.

Indiana went to work on UCLA preparations today, likely to spend considerably more than 10 minutes going over Bruin patterns and tendencies on offense and preferences on defense.

The IU-UCLA game is set for 4:05 p.m. Saturday, Michigan meeting Rutgers at 2:05. Winners meet at 8:05 p.m. Monday for the nation championship. There will be a third-place game at 5:35 p.m. Monday.