HARTFORD, Conn. – John Wooden's grandson thinks the Hall of Fame coach would have been thrilled to see UCLA's 88-game winning streak surpassed by a women's basketball team.
Greg Wooden flew in from California to watch top-ranked Connecticut win a record 89th consecutive game on Tuesday night, 93-62 over No. 22 Florida State.
"I kind of thought that somebody should come here from the family and show support," the 47-year-old Wooden said. "Certain players have said they're not really supportive of the streak, and I know my grandfather would have loved to have been here to see this."
John Wooden's UCLA teams won 88 straight games from 1971-74. Wooden died June 4 at age 99.
Greg Wooden said in the last decade of his life, coach Wooden thought the best basketball was being played at the collegiate level, "and it wasn't by the men."
He said his grandfather believed that women's teams, especially Connecticut, were playing his style of basketball, and liked the way they emphasized team above all else.
"He liked the way they passed the ball, the way they had quite a few stars who could have scored probably a lot more points on other teams, but were willing to sacrifice for the best of the team," Greg Wooden said.
Auriemma said he hopes that's the comparison people make between his team and Wooden's UCLA squad. He said the streak isn't about which team is better, but how each one played the game.
"That's all I've ever wanted is for these kids to be appreciated for what they do and how they do it, not to be compared to how Bill Walton and Jamaal Wilkes did it," Auriemma said.
Greg Wooden said it was the first women's game he had attended.