This past season a group of teenage girls at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, Illinois barked out plays gilded in gold.
“We ran all the old Coach Wooden/UCLA stuff,” said Woodlands coach Larry Farmer. “I had 16-year-old girls who were yelling out ‘L Cut! UCLA Cut!’
Even though it’s over the phone, it’s obvious Farmer is glowing while relating the story. The former UCLA forward under John Wooden is from a different age at an advanced age. Now 72, he remains a direct descendant of college basketball’s greatest dynasty.
In the early 70s, Farmer played on three consecutive national championship teams — part of Wooden’s 10 overall — going 89-1 as a player. It matters less at the small Catholic girls’ high school he coaches now that Farmer’s Wildcats finished 10-13. It matters more the lessons they learned.
“We would be in team meetings and talking after a practice,” Farmer recalled to CBS Sports. “They would say things like, ‘Be quick, but don’t hurry.’ ‘It’s amazing how much can be accomplished when no one is concerned who gets the credit.’ ”
Those enduring chestnuts are the foundations of Wooden’s team-building philosophy. Now they are Woodlands’ too.
“The legacy,” Farmer added, “is alive and well.”
That legacy also serves as a reminder in this year’s NCAA Tournament how unlikely – almost impossible – sustained championship excellence can be. This season marks a half century since UCLA last won consecutive titles. It has been accomplished only twice since then: Duke in 1991-1992 and Florida in 2006-2007.
Kansas is trying to become only the fourth team to do it in the last 50 years.
Whether back-to-back titles will ever be won again is wrapped in the vagaries of the modern game. Transfer portal, one-time transfers, injuries. Pressure is to win it all annually is a given at bluebloods like North Carolina, Kentucky, Duke, Kansas and UCLA. …
Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/2023-march-madness-before-picking-kansas-in-your-bracket-know-its-hard-to-repeat-as-ncaa-tournament-champs/
Author : Dennis Dodd
Publish date : 2023-03-15 18:44:16
Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked Source.