Champions: 1995 Bruins Were a Joy to Watch

In light of UCLA’s early exit from the tournament and firing of Coach Howland, I thought I would recall a happier time for the Westwoodians.  It was 1995, I had just moved to Los Angeles and the city went crazy over Jim Harrick’s Bruins who truly played like a team and were a joy to watch.  Led by Wooden Trophy Winner Ed O’Bannon, they got to the Championship Game where they beat the defending National Champion Arkansas without their star guard Tyus Edney.

rivals_logo

1995 Bruins weren’t flashy, just winners

Rivals.com ranked the ’95 UCLA Champions 7th in the Top 10 Teams of the 64 Era.  They featured:

  • Wooden Trophy winner Ed O’Bannon, who led the team in scoring (20.4 ppg), rebounding (8.3 rpg), 3-point field goal percentage (43.3 percent) and free-throw percentage (78.5 percent); and
  • Tyus Edney, a 5-10 point guard who won the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award given annually to the nation’s top player shorter than 6 feet.

“We had three great seniors, Tyus (Edney), George (Zidek) and Ed (O’Bannon)” said Jim Harrick, who coached at UCLA from 1988-1996. “They set the tone. They didn’t allow anyone to goof off. If someone was sulking about not getting enough playing time, they jumped him hard. We had great leadership. We had great chemistry. That team had a special bond.”

sportingnews

NCAA Tournament All-time champions, No. 6: UCLA’s 1995 team

The Sporting News ranked the ’95 Bruins #6 in the expanded bracket era.   They praised O’Bannon, who they said “had a versatile game no one could stop.”

Seattle University coach and former UCLA guard Cameron Dollar says: “Ed was a warrior that gave everything he had every night. He played with so much fire and determination. Most importantly, he set the standard for our team being unselfish and together. You knew wholeheartedly all he wanted to do was win.”

BY THE NUMBERS

4.8

This team’s legacy forever will be tied to Edney’s game-winner against Missouri. Though it came in the second round and UCLA won four more games after that, it is one of the most famous plays in tournament history. Coach Jim Harrick has called it the defining moment of his career, and he coached for 23 seasons.

5

Number of players who averaged double digits in scoring, and a sixth averaged 9.2. Though O’Bannon was the obvious star, he wasn’t the only source of offense.

8

Assists by reserve Cameron Dollar in the Championship Game.  As Sporting News recounts,

They punished the Razorbacks even though Edney was only able to start the game because of a wrist injury and had to leave after just a few minutes; Dollar played heroically in his place, going 36 minutes and passing for eight assists.

11

Number of NCAA Championships for UCLA Basketball.  This was the only post-Wooden championship.

19

Number of consecutive wins to end the season.

26

Points by Toby Bailey (his average was 10.5) in Regional Final and in Championship Game to step up for the injured Edney.

Combined rebounds by Ed O’Bannon (17) and his brother Charles O’Bannon (9) in Championship Game — one less than the entire Arkansas team.

30

Points by Ed O’Bannon in the Championship Game.

 


1994-1995 UCLA ROSTER

Player Class Pos Height Summary
Toby Bailey FR F 6-6 10.5 Pts, 4.8 Reb, 1.9 Ast
Marquis Burns JR G 6-4 1.8 Pts, 1.6 Reb, 0.6 Ast
Kevin Dempsey JR F 6-6 1.7 Pts, 0.8 Reb, 0.4 Ast
Cameron Dollar SO G 3.4 Pts, 1.9 Reb, 3.1 Ast
Tyus Edney SR G 5-10 14.3 Pts, 3.1 Reb, 6.8 Ast
omm’A Givens FR C 1.6 Pts, 1.3 Reb, 0.1 Ast
J.R. Henderson FR F 6-8 9.2 Pts, 4.2 Reb, 1.3 Ast
Kris Johnson FR F 2.6 Pts, 1.7 Reb, 0.3 Ast
Bob Myers SO F 6-7 0.3 Pts, 0.5 Reb, 0.1 Ast
Ike Nwankwo SO C 6-10 2.7 Pts, 1.6 Reb, 0.1 Ast
Charles O’Bannon SO F 6-5 13.6 Pts, 6.1 Reb, 3.3 Ast
Ed O’Bannon SR F 6-8 20.4 Pts, 8.3 Reb, 2.5 Ast
George Zidek SR C 7-0 10.6 Pts, 5.4 Reb, 0.5 Ast
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CBB: View Original Table
Generated 4/3/2016.

1994-95 SCHEDULE

G Date Type Opponent Conf Tm Opp W L Streak
1 Sat, Nov 26, 1994 REG Cal State Northridge AWC W 83 60 1 0 W 1
2 Sat, Dec 3, 1994 REG N Kentucky (3) SEC W 82 81 2 0 W 2
3 Sat, Dec 10, 1994 REG Cal State Fullerton Big West W 99 65 3 0 W 3
4 Sat, Dec 17, 1994 REG @ Louisiana State SEC W 92 72 4 0 W 4
5 Thu, Dec 22, 1994 REG George Mason CAA W 137 100 5 0 W 5
6 Wed, Dec 28, 1994 REG North Carolina State ACC W 88 80 6 0 W 6
7 Thu, Jan 5, 1995 REG @ Oregon Pac-10 L 72 82 6 1 L 1
8 Sat, Jan 7, 1995 REG @ Oregon State Pac-10 W 87 78 7 1 W 1
9 Thu, Jan 12, 1995 REG Washington Pac-10 W 75 57 8 1 W 2
10 Sat, Jan 14, 1995 REG Washington State Pac-10 W 91 78 9 1 W 3
11 Thu, Jan 19, 1995 REG @ Arizona (11) Pac-10 W 71 61 10 1 W 4
12 Sat, Jan 21, 1995 REG @ Arizona State (13) Pac-10 W 85 72 11 1 W 5
13 Thu, Jan 26, 1995 REG Stanford (17) Pac-10 W 77 74 12 1 W 6
14 Sat, Jan 28, 1995 REG University of California Pac-10 L 93 100 12 2 L 1
15 Thu, Feb 2, 1995 REG @ Southern California Pac-10 W 73 69 13 2 W 1
16 Sun, Feb 5, 1995 REG Notre Dame Ind W 92 55 14 2 W 2
17 Thu, Feb 9, 1995 REG @ Washington Pac-10 W 74 66 15 2 W 3
18 Sat, Feb 11, 1995 REG @ Washington State Pac-10 W 98 83 16 2 W 4
19 Thu, Feb 16, 1995 REG Arizona State (13) Pac-10 W 82 77 17 2 W 5
20 Sun, Feb 19, 1995 REG @ Arizona (12) Pac-10 W 72 70 18 2 W 6
21 Tue, Feb 21, 1995 REG @ Stanford (19) Pac-10 W 88 77 19 2 W 7
22 Thu, Feb 23, 1995 REG @ University of California Pac-10 W 104 88 20 2 W 8
23 Sun, Feb 26, 1995 REG Duke ACC W 100 77 21 2 W 9
24 Wed, Mar 1, 1995 REG Southern California Pac-10 W 85 66 22 2 W 10
25 Sun, Mar 5, 1995 REG @ Louisville Metro W 91 73 23 2 W 11
26 Thu, Mar 9, 1995 REG Oregon State Pac-10 W 86 67 24 2 W 12
27 Sat, Mar 11, 1995 REG Oregon (25) Pac-10 W 94 78 25 2 W 13
G Date Type Opponent Conf Tm Opp W L Streak
28 Fri, Mar 17, 1995 NCAA N Florida International A-Sun W 92 56 26 2 W 14
29 Sun, Mar 19, 1995 NCAA N Missouri (23) Big 8 W 75 74 27 2 W 15
30 Thu, Mar 23, 1995 NCAA N Mississippi State (18) SEC W 86 67 28 2 W 16
31 Sat, Mar 25, 1995 NCAA N Connecticut (8) Big East W 102 96 29 2 W 17
32 Sat, Apr 1, 1995 NCAA N Oklahoma State (14) Big 8 W 74 61 30 2 W 18
33 Mon, Apr 3, 1995 NCAA N Arkansas (6) SEC W 89 78 31 2 W 19
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CBB: View Original Table
Generated 4/3/2016.
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