Friday, January 18, 2013

UCLA beats OSU for 10th straight, Jamaal Wilkes jersey retired

I took my boys and my parents to see the 24th ranked Bruins get to a 10 game winning streak.  Its UCLA's first 10 game streak since the 2008-09 season (and we lost the next game).  The season before in 2007-08, we actually had a 14 win streak that was snapped in the Final Four vs Memphis.  While we're on the subject, the 2006-07 team started their season on a 14 game win streak.  And the 2005-06 team went on a 12 game tear, finally losing in the national championship.

This is also the first time UCLA has opened the conference schedule with a 5-0 record since Howland's 2003-04 team, which promptly lost its next 6.  Against Oregon State, we have won 23 of the last 24 games played at home.

Shabazz led all scorers with 21 points in our 74-64 victory.  Kyle Anderson might have been the player of the game though, as he shot 7-9 from the field, 17 points, and had another strong night on the boards with 9.  Also with 17, Travis Wear has been on a tear of late ever since his 22 points in that massive game vs Missouri.  In the past 6 games, he scored 100 points exactly, a 16.7 per game average.

But the biggest reason I wanted to be there was for Jamaal Wilkes' jersey retirement.  We haven't had one since 2004 when Gail Goodrich was honored.  Lew Alcindor, Bill Walton (announcing the game for ESPN), Marques Johnson, Mike Warren, Don McLean (announcing game on radio) and other Bruin greats were on hand as Wilkes' #52 was unveiled in the rafters.  Even AC Green, former Laker great and OSU alum, was in attendance.

UCLA retired jerseys (and the year they were retired) include:
Lew Alcindor 1990
Bill Walton 1990
Walt Hazzard 1996
Sidney Wicks 1996
Marques Johnson 1996
Ed O'Bannon 1996
Gail Goodrich 2004

Jamaal Wilkes 2012
Reggie Miller 2012 (Jan 30th)
Don Barksdale 2012 (Feb 7th)

I'm trying to understand why it took so long for Alcindor and Walton's jerseys to be raised.  And why the same year?  And why did Hazzard, Wicks and Johnson have the retirements the same year alongside Ed O'Bannon, who only waited 1 year?  And why jam 3 retirements into this season?  Just strange administrative decisions, if you ask me.

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