7 basketball books for March Madness and beyond

Here are excerpts from seven books by some of the biggest names – coaches and players – in college basketball.

5. “Wooden: A Coach’s Life”

By Seth Davis

Times Books

 608 pages

(John Wooden, the "Wizard of Westwood," coached at UCLA from 1948 to 1975, guiding the Bruins to 10 NCAA titles between in the last 12 years of his career.)

"[In retirement] Wooden's opinions on the state of the game were widely sought. He became the sport's resident scold. After watching North Carolina win the 1982 ACC tournament championship over Virginia, Wooden chastised Dean Smith for having his team hold the ball for thirteen minutes. 'I deplore a game of non-action. I can't see talented teams not playing each other,' he said. Wooden believed play was too rough. ('If I want to see something like that, I'll go to a wrestling match.') The refs were too lenient. ('They let them travel, palm the ball, the amount of moving screens are ridiculous.') He opposed expanding the NCAA tournament, but if it was going to be expanded, he wanted every team in the country to be invited – just as Indiana did with its high school tournament. Wooden was pleased when a shot clock was finally added in 1986, but he remained a lone, futile crusader against the offensive rebound basket. Dating back to his days coaching UCLA, Wooden argued that if an offensive player got a rebound, he should have to pass before another shot is taken. He thought it would elevate teamwork. Wooden did acknowledge that bringing back the dunk was good for basketball, but he deplored the way it encouraged showmanship."

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