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The 1995 Championship Team

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When Jim Harrick took over coaching the UCLA men's basketball team in 1988, they hadn't been to the Final Four since 1980, when they lost to Louisville in the championship game. By consistently good recruiting, Coach Harrick built teams that won 20 or more games all 7 years that he coached at UCLA.

The 1994-95 team was led by 3 seniors. At the point guard was Tyus Edney, a small but extremely effective point guard with great speed and court sense. Anchoring the center was Jiri (George) Zidek, a Czech player with a soft touch who nearly quit UCLA to go back home after his freshman season. The heart of the team was Ed O'Bannon, a forward who did everything: defense, three-pointers, posting-up, running the floor, and carrying the team when needed. Other major contributors were Charles O'Bannon (Ed's brother), Cameron Dollar (a sophomore backup point guard), and two talented freshmen, Toby Bailey and J.R. Henderson.

[1995 Championship Team]
TOP (l to r): Tyus Edney, Marquis Burns, Charles O'Bannon, Kevin Dempsey, Ed O'Bannon, Ike Nwankwo, George Zidek, omm'A Givens, J.R. Henderson, Bob Myers, Toby Bailey, Kris Johnson, Cameron Dollar. MIDDLE: David Boyle, Steve Lavin, Mark Gottfried, Jim Harrick, Lorenzo Romar, Phil Frye, Tony Spino. BOTTOM: Tony Luftman, Richard Klinger, Greg Buonaccorsi (Manager), Brendan Jacobson, Andrew Pruter.

UCLA came into the 1995 NCAA Tournament ranked #1, but didn't get a lot of respect from the East-coast-biased media. Repeatedly during the tournament, commentators would question whether UCLA could run with Connecticut or bang with Arkansas. In each game, the Bruins proved themselves worthy of their ranking. In the championship game, they survived Arkansas' vaunted 90 feet of hell to win 89-78.

Ed O'Bannon won the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament (and later the Wooden Award as well), but it was Tyus Edney who had the biggest impact on the tournament. Tyus won the Missouri game with a 4.8 second baseline-to-baseline buzzer-beater that is now a tournament legend. He was named the Most Outstanding Player in the West region. He averaged 7.6 assists for the first 5 games, but injured his wrist against Oklahoma State and couldn't play effectively in the championship game. Cameron Dollar stepped in and the rest of the team stepped it up a notch to make up for the loss, and the Bruins held on to win it.

March 15: NCAA West Regional 1st round game at Boise, Idaho:


Florida International 56


Henderson 16
Charles O'Bannon 14
Ed O'Bannon 10
Johnson 10
Zidek 8
Edney 8
Bailey 7
Nwankwo 6
Dollar 5
Myers 4
Dempsey 2
Givens 2

Mazyck 21
Dozier 8
Davis 7
Forbes 6
Tchir 5
Eason 4
L. Johnson 2
Allen 2
J. Johnson 1

March 20: NCAA West Regional 2nd round game at Boise, Idaho:


Missouri 74


Ed O'Bannon 24
Edney 15
Henderson 11
Zidek 10
Bailey 9
Charles O'Bannon 6

O'Liney 23
Sutherland 15
Grimm 13
Winfield 8
Sa. Haley 3
Sim. Haley 2

March 20: NCAA West Regional semi-final at Oakland, CA:


Mississippi State 67


Ed O'Bannon 21
Bailey 12
Zidek 11
Edney 10
Charles O'Bannon 9
Henderson 8
Johnson 5
Givens 4
Nwankwo 4
Dollar 2

D. Wilson 22
Dampier 11
Bullard 10
Walters 10
Honore 6
Price 6
Grant 2

March 14: NCAA West Regional final at Oakland, CA:

UCLA 102

Connecticut 96


Bailey 26
Edney 22
Henderson 18
Ed O'Bannon 15
Charles O'Bannon 10
Zidek 8
Dollar 2

Allen 36
Sheffer 24
Marshall 15
Knight 12
Fair 3
Ollie 2
Hayward 2
King 2

March 14: NCAA Championship semi-final at Seattle, WA:


Oklahoma State 61


Edney 21
Charles O'Bannon 19
Ed O'Bannon 15
Dollar 9
Zidek 6
Bailey 2
Henderson 2

Reeves 25
Rutherford 15
Roberts 10
Collins 6
Owens 3
Pierce 2

March 14: NCAA Championship final at Seattle, WA:


Arkansas 78


Ed O'Bannon 30
Bailey 26
Zidek 14
Charles O'Bannon 11
Dollar 6
Henderson 2

McDaniel 15
Williamson 12
Stewart 12
Beck 11
Wilson 7
Dillard 6
Thurman 5
Robinson 4
Martin 3
Rimac 2

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