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TOTALLY RANDOM

John Wooden makes it all sound so simple

Things got decidedly easier when he arrived at UCLA.

March 10, 2009|Mike Penner

Looking back on it now, after all these years, John Wooden says he had it relatively easy at UCLA.

Wooden recently told the Kansas City Star, "At Indiana State, I was director of athletics, head basketball coach, head baseball coach, taught the coaching course in basketball, taught the coaching course in baseball, I finished writing my thesis and I substituted in an English course.

"Then I came to UCLA, I went on vacation for 27 years. All I had was basketball."

Trivia time

How many years did Wooden coach basketball at Indiana State?

Long drive to victory

Length of the court drives to the winning basket are rare and exciting and great fodder for highlight shows, but they pale in comparison to what Alabama point guard Anthony Brock accomplished Sunday.

Brock began his drive in Little Rock, Ark., and ended it in Knoxville, Tenn.

On Saturday, Brock attended his grandmother's funeral in Little Rock, and missed his scheduled 4 p.m. flight to Knoxville, where Alabama was to play Tennessee the next day. So he and his cousin split time driving overnight, a trip taking more than eight hours, Brock sleeping when he could.

Brock arrived in Knoxville just in time for the team's pregame meal, and eventually won the game for Alabama with a three-point bank shot at the buzzer, 70-67.

It was the first game-winning shot of Brock's basketball career and afterward, Brock told the Mobile Press-Register his grandmother "helped me on that one."

Minnesota mark-down

Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, looking for ways to improve attendance next season in the midst of a recession, says he plans to cut prices on 95% of season tickets and will refund unused tickets if fans lose their jobs. Season tickets will cost as little as $5 a game and the team will offer no interest payments over nine months.

Improving the team might also help. The Timberwolves are at 18-45 and as one former fan told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "It ain't just the economy keeping the fans away, Glen."

Trivia answer

Two seasons, from 1946-48. Wooden's record at the school, then known as Indiana State Teachers College, was 47-14.

And finally

Cleveland Indians pitcher Cliff Lee spent Thursday riding in a F-16 fighter jet, a trip that included barrel rolls and loops, and he was proud to announce after the flight, "I didn't throw up. They said 95% of the people they take up there do that." Asked if his Indians contract prohibited such a daring activity, Lee told the Associated Press, "There's a crash, the contract wouldn't matter anyway."

--

mike.penner@latimes.com

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