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A renovated Pauley Pavilion, given a $136-million face-lift, will draw back the curtains for the Bruins' first home game Nov. 9. That will be against Indiana State, scheduled out of symbolism, not rivalry. Indiana State was Wooden's only other college job, before he came West in the late 1940s to create Bruins basketball legacy.
Before that opening game, UCLA will unveil a bronze statue of Wooden in the North Plaza. That will be Friday and will be directly outside Pauley, the house that Wooden built and opened in 1965.
The new Pauley, redone with donations certainly influenced by the knowledge that Wooden's legacy deserved this, is shiny and statuesque, with lots of tall glass pillars and a robust new look. Those who are allowed a sneak peek emerge with the same word: Wow.
"I was in there the other day with Reggie Miller and Jamaal Wilkes," Howland says, "and it was great to see two former great players like that, getting excited about our new place."