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Column: Mick Cronin is the coach to finally bring the John Wooden way back to UCLA

It’s easy to believe UCLA’s magnificent march to April and the Final Four began last season, Mick Cronin’s first in a chair that has been too sizzling hot for many of the coaches who had to tread in John Wooden’s large footsteps.

Responding to his team’s weak defensive effort in an ugly loss to Cal State Fullerton at Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 28, 2019, Cronin told players they couldn’t wear practice jerseys bearing the UCLA name. They hadn’t earned the privilege of wearing those letters, hadn’t shown the humility and team-first mentality to lift the program back into the national conversation.