The instant the NCAA tournament brackets were announced, memories came flooding back to Tyus Edney. Bad memories. Twenty years ago, his UCLA team suffered an upset loss to Tulsa in the tournament's first round. "That was a tough day," he said. "I just remember how upset and angry we were." Now Edney is director of basketball operations for the Bruins and his team is once again facing a March Madness opener against the Golden Hurricane. But he sees a different sort of history playing out. The fourth-seeded Bruins remind him of the team UCLA had a year after that Tulsa loss when he and his teammates rebounded to win the 1995 national championship. He sees a familiar blend of youth and experience, a group of players with something to prove. "There are similarities for sure," he said. "They're more confident in themselves now and they believe they can make a good run." Watching from afar, Tulsa Coach Danny Manning has been impressed. "They have some really, really good players who can attack," Manning said. "They push the tempo. They spread the ball around." Back in 1994-95, three seniors — Edney, Ed O'Bannon and George Zidek — led coach Jim Harrick's team. O'Bannon's younger brother, Charles, and freshman Toby Bailey filled out the lineup. Two more underclassmen — Cameron Dollar and J.R. Henderson — contributed off the bench. Edney figures that team needed a chip on its shoulder to stay focused all the way to the title. The Tulsa loss, he said, "ended up being a good thing." The current Bruins still feel a comparable pain from losing to Minnesota in the second round of the 2014 tournament. As point guard Kyle Anderson explained, "It was terrible."
UCLA hero Tyus Edney says Bruins remind him of famous forebears
Los Angeles Times | Mar 19