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.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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
Number of NCAA Championships for UCLA Basketball. This was the only post-Wooden championship.
Number of consecutive wins to end the season.
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.
Points by Ed O’Bannon in the Championship Game.
1994-1995 UCLA ROSTER
|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|
|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|
|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|