Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Jim Harrick on UCLA in 2006 Final Four

Interview from the Sprint Tournament Center

Jim Harrick on his 1995 UCLA Bruins National Championship team compared to the current Bruins squad:

"The difference is we were a little bit older.We had Ed O'Bannon, a fifth-year senior, senior George Zedick in the middle and a four year starter, Tyus Edney, at the guard line. We were a little bit older than the current UCLA team and a little bit more mature. We faced tremendous adversity before our championship, being beaten twice in the NCAA tournament the two years prior, and it helped us grow and mature. But the NCAA is lot younger now and LSU is a young team too. Anything can happen."

Jim Harrick with some words of wisdom for Coach Howland:

"Let your players and coaches get a flavor of what this is all about but you don't want them downtown. Drive around and watch things through the bus maybe. Make sure a hotel security guard lets the players in and out of their rooms. Also, go out the back door. We went through the kitchen and out the back door because if you go through that lobby, it's crazy and all the boosters are there. Protect your team as much as you can, but let them have a good time too."

Jim Harrick on Ben Howland's responsibilities:

"I would tell Ben Howland to make sure he gets a driver for himself because he'll have enormous responsibilities."

Jim Harrick on living up to UCLA's expectations:

"Ben knew when he took the job that he had big shoes to fill. He's from Santa Barbara and has grown up watching and hearing all the hype. It's the reason he took the job. The expectation at UCLA since having back to back 11 win seasons weren't nearly as high. The Sweet 16 would be great. Now Coach Howland has raised the bar so the pressure is on him."

Jim Harrick predicts the winner of the UCLA/LSU game:

"I'm going with UCLA. They're going to clamp down on the guard line at LSU. There is a saying in basketball, if you cut the head off, the body dies. LSU at the point guard position is weak, and they are really going to have trouble getting into their offense and getting the ball to Big Baby. It starts right at the guard line and UCLA is going to choke them off."



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