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John R. Wooden Classic  [+] December 9, 2006 at Honda Center in Anaheim

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15th Annual John R. Wooden Classic Teams Announced

UCLA will face DePaul and
Saint Mary’s takes on San Diego State

 

Anaheim, CA (August 13, 2008) – The UCLA Bruins will make their way to Anaheim to headline the 15th annual John R. Wooden Classic college basketball doubleheader on December 13th at Honda Center. UCLA, coming off three straight Final Four seasons, will take on DePaul, with a rematch of last year’s thrilling game between San Diego State and Saint Mary’s rounding out the field.

 

The appearance will mark the 12th overall and sixth in a row for UCLA.  Their record now stands at 8-3 in the Wooden Classic, with their last win coming in 2007 when they defeated Davidson 75-63.

The 2007-08 Bruins finished the season with a school-record 35 victories and a 35-4 overall mark. The club won its third consecutive Pac-10 championship with a 16-2 mark, also winning the 2008 Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament. In addition, UCLA has won 30 or more games in three straight seasons for the first time in school history. Three seniors, Darren Collison, Josh Shipp and Alfred Aboya will be leading the Bruins into this season.  

DePaul, making its first Wooden Classic appearance, welcomes back five letter winners and two redshirts from last season including four of the top seven scorers and its top two rebounders. The Blue Demons are led on the court by sophomore Mac Kashwal who is the team’s top scorer and rebounder. Dar Tucker is coming off a solid freshman campaign as well. He was a member of the Big East Conference All-Rookie team and was named to the national All-Freshman team by The Sporting News. The Big East Rookie of the Week on January 2, Tucker finished the season ranked 21st in the league in scoring. Senior Jabari Currie who enters his final season in a Blue Demon uniform led the team in assists and ranks 22nd in school history with 248 in his career.

 

This year will mark the second appearance in the Wooden Classic for both Saint Mary’s and San Diego State. Last year Saint Mary’s defeated San Diego State 69-64, in a thrilling finish that featured a series of remarkable plays in the final minutes by both teams.

 

After a third straight appearance in the postseason and its third 20-win season in as many years, San Diego State heads into the 2008-09 campaign with all five starters and its top seven scorers returning. Finishing last year with a record of 20-13, Head Coach Steve Fisher and the Aztecs have won at least 20 games in three consecutive seasons for the first time in their Division I history and for the first time since 1939-41. This year, SDSU will look to run its streak to four with all-conference performers Lorrenzo Wade (1st team), Ryan Amoroso (3rd team) and Billy White (3rd team, freshman of the year) manning the frontline.

West Coast Conference Co-Coach of the Year, Randy Bennett, will attempt to lead the Gaels to their first back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearance in school history.  Saint Mary’s will be led on the court by sophomore guard Patrick Mills, who earlier this summer was named to the 12-man Australian Olympic roster.  With 12 teams competing for the gold medal in Beijing, Mills will not only be the only collegiate player on an Olympic basketball team, but will also be the youngest of any player at 20 years old.

At Saint Mary’s, Mills helped the Gaels post a 25-7 overall record in 2007-08 and led the team in scoring (14.8), assists (3.5) and steals (57).
 

Established in 1994, the Wooden Classic is an annual tribute to the legendary former coach and the excellence he personifies. The event, co-produced by Pantheon International, LLC and Anaheim Arena Management, LLC, has a tradition of bringing the nation’s finest college programs to Southern California. 

 
 
 


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