Monday, April 03, 2006

Vintage Defense?

I'll tell you what. If Florida scores below 50 points tonight, UCLA's defense better get all the props it richly deserves. After holding both Memphis and LSU to 45 points in their last two games, the Bruins are on a defensive run like I can't recall for a long time. The Bruins D is absolutely filthy.

It's not often in basketball that a team is recognized and/or remembered for its defense. If a team is solid defensively, it's normally just mentioned as an attribute, but not as its calling card. It's not like in the NFL where a nasty defense can become legendary. If someone mentions the 1985 Bears or 2000 Ravens or 2002 Buccaneers, you automatically remember those teams for their vintage defenses, which will be recalled for many years to come.

There really isn't any such basketball teams. Nobody ever says, "That 1984 Georgetown team - man, that defense was awesome." Sure, maybe that Georgetown team was awesome defensively, but you don't remember those Hoyas for that, at least not front and foremost. Quick: name me one vintage defensive team in basketball history. Sure, you might name a team that played well on the defensive end, and you might even have the stats to prove it, but name me one basketball team through the years that is remembered specifically for its ability to shut someone down, no questions asked. Who is the '85 Bears of college basketball lore?

My point is that this UCLA team may be on the verge of defensive effectiveness like we haven't seen in a long, long time. The Bruins are possibly on the verge of something great and memorable. Like I said, if Florida is held below fifty points and the Bruins win, I'm thinking that for years people look back on the 2006 UCLA team as having one of those classic defenses that become part of lore.

Maybe years from now, people will mention the 2006 UCLA team and instantly think defense.

Then again, maybe the Gators will put an end to all such talk tonight. Who knows? After the way my bracket crumbled, I profess to have no idea what I'm talking about.


Blogger White Silk said...

I remember that Tark's Runnin' Rebs of the early 90's with Augmon, GrandMama, Moses Scurry, Anderson Hunt and ESPN studio jockey Greg Anthony had that swraming DEE that was known as the "ASmoeba" but, as good as there defense was, they will always be remembered as an offensive juggernaut (among other not-so-positive things)!

I also recall the Big Tricky (P-Ewing) and his Hoyas team in '84 being damn tough - with that rude boy Michael Graham helping PE dominate the paint, they got dowrnight unruly on folks.

I do agree, though, that it just seems to be a case where no matter how good a college hoops defense is (hell, even NBA squads suffer the same fate), peeps just don't quite remember them with the same focus as they do their NFL counterparts

1:46 PM  
Blogger White Silk said...

I meant to say "..Amoeba" not "..ASmoeba" (which is probably the term the Rebels called their swarming style with the honeyz off the court!!

1:48 PM  
Blogger UnknownColumn said...

Or not. So much for UCLA's defense.

8:25 AM  

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