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VALLEY NEWSWATCH / A SPECIAL REPORT: NCAA BASKETBALL'S
VALLEY CONNECTIONS

March 20, 1995|ROB FERNAS

COMPARING ERAS: Don MacLean, a former Simi Valley High basketball standout who left UCLA in 1992 as the Bruins' all-time leading scorer, was asked recently how the 1991-92 UCLA team would have done against the current team, which entered the NCAA tournament ranked No. 1 in the nation. "We would have beaten them," said MacLean, in his third season with the Washington Bullets. In 1992, UCLA reached the West Regional final before losing to Indiana.

BRUIN HISTORY: Gail Goodrich, who attended Poly High in Sun Valley, was the leading scorer on the first two of Coach John Wooden's 10 NCAA championship teams at UCLA. Goodrich averaged 21.5 points on UCLA's 30-0 team in 1963-64 and 24.6 points on the 28-2 team in 1964-65. He finished as UCLA's all-time leading scorer before a 14-year NBA career, most of which he spent with the Lakers. He is now an executive with American Golf Corp.

HOMECOMING: It's only natural that North Carolina's Marion Jones (above) and Vanderbilt's Michelle Palmisano would end up in the West Regional of the NCAA women's tournament. Their colleges are in the South, but their roots are in Southern California. Jones and Palmisano were teammates at Thousand Oaks High, graduating one year apart. They will face off against each other in the regional final Saturday at Pauley Pavilion if their teams win semifinal games Thursday.

TRIVIA TIME: The last Valley product to play on a men's NCAA championship team was Joe Hillman (Hoover High in Glendale), who helped Indiana beat Syracuse, 74-73, in the 1987 title game.

HALL OF FAMER: Louisville's Denny Crum, a former coach at Pierce College, is one of only three active college coaches in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Crum was an assistant under Wooden at UCLA from 1968 to '71, when the Bruins won three NCAA titles. Now in his 24th season as coach at Louisville, he guided the Cardinals to NCAA titles in 1980 and '86.

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