UCLA’s Wooden Classic shifts to Pac-10 matchup for one year


There was a shakeup involving UCLA’s basketball schedule Friday that had nothing to do with the location of a home game.

The Bruins will play Arizona in the Wooden Classic on Jan. 5 at the Honda Center, breaking from the usual mold of a December game against a nonconference opponent.

Nan Muehlhausen, John Wooden’s daughter, said one option had been for UCLA’s game against Pennsylvania on Dec. 10 at the Honda Center to be designated as the Wooden Classic. But Wooden’s family and the Honda Center officials who run the event wanted a more high-profile opponent.


So it was decided that the Bruins’ game against the defending Pacific 10 Conference champion Wildcats was more befitting of an event that bears the name of the legendary UCLA coach.

“We just want to kind of keep it going and hopefully next year we’ll get a chance to get it back more on course with four teams and two games,” Muehlhausen said.

As expected, the Bruins will play the majority of their home games at the Sports Arena while Pauley Pavilion undergoes renovations, including a Feb. 15 game against crosstown rival USC.

Asked about playing the Trojans at a venue that is less than a mile from USC’s campus, Bruins Coach Ben Howland said he hadn’t thought about it but pointed out that UCLA fans would have first dibs on tickets.

“Our fans will have the availability of being there first,” Howland said.

Bruins officials said they would offer students complimentary busing to home games.