Arizona Wildcats
School Name: University of Arizona
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Arena: McKale Memorial Center
Capacity: 14,545
Conference: Pac-10
Head coach: Sean Miller

The Arizona Wildcats basketball team is the intercollegiate men's basketball program representing the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The team competes in the Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10) of NCAA Division I. They are currently coached by Sean Miller.

Arizona has a long and rich basketball history. The program came to national prominence under the tutelage of former head coach Lute Olson, who since 1983 has established the program as among America's elite in college basketball. One writer referred to UA as "Point Guard U"[1] because the school has produced spectacular guards like Steve Kerr, Damon Stoudamire, Khalid Reeves, Jason Terry, and others.

From 1985 to 2009, the Arizona basketball team reached the NCAA Tournament for 25 consecutive years, two years shy of North Carolina's record of 27.[2][3][4] Despite a 1999 appearance later vacated by the NCAA, the media still cites Arizona's streak, and simply note the change.[5][6] The Wildcats have reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament on four occasions (1988, 1994, 1997, and 2001). In 1997, Arizona defeated the University of Kentucky, the defending national champions, to win the NCAA National Championship. In Pac-10 play, former head coach Lute Olson currently holds the record for most wins as a Pac-10 coach at 327.[7] In addition, the team has won 12 Pac-10 regular season titles and 4 Pac-10 tournament titles.[7] Arizona also holds the distinction of recording 5 out of the 7 17–1 Pac-10 seasons (one-loss seasons).[7] No team has gone undefeated since the formation of the Pac-10. Arizona has spent 227 weeks in the top 10 which is 7th all-time. Arizona has intense rivalries with the in-state Arizona State Sun Devils, and the out-of-state UCLA Bruins and Kansas Jayhawks.


Early years

University of Arizona fielded its first men's basketball team in 1904–05. Orin Albert Cates coached the team and drew opponents from local YMCAs. The first game Arizona played ended in a 40–32 victory over the Morenci YMCA.[8]

In 1914, Arizona's first famous coach, James Fred "Pop" McKale was lured away from a teaching and coaching job at Tucson High School to take over as Athletic Director and coach basketball, football, baseball and track.[8] McKale took things to a new level, posting a 9–0 record his first season as a basketball coach.[8] Moreover, McKale elevated the program to intercollegiate play.[8] While basketball was his least favorite of the many sports he coached while at UA, He chalked up three undefeated seasons and a career-winning average of .803, which has never been bested by a UA coach who has held the post for at least three years.[8] The McKale Memorial Center, the main arena for Arizona basketball, is named in his honor.[8]

From 1925 to 1961, the program was under the stewardship of Fred Enke, UA's longest tenured coach.[9] Coach Fred A. Enke was responsible for the early successes of Wildcat basketball. Enke amassed 509 wins in his tenure on the UA sidelines and still ranks as the second-winningest coach in school history, winning more than 60 percent of his games. Enke also led the Cats to the first four postseason appearances (3 N.I.T./1 NCAA) in school history and in 1950-51 competed in both the N.I.T. and NCAA postseason tournaments. Finally, he was the first coach to lead Arizona to a national ranking. Two of his teams (1950, 1951) finished the season ranked in the top 15.[9]

Under Enke, UA competed in the now defunct Border Conference. Under Enke's direction, Arizona won 12 conference championships, including a span in which the Cats won or shared seven consecutive Border Conference titles (1942–51). No Border Conference team won as many league games (231) or overall contests (398) during its membership.[9] In 1962, Arizona joined the Western Athletic Conference as a founding member after the Border Conference disbanded.[9]

In 1972, Fred Snowden was hired as the head basketball coach, making Arizona the second Division I school and the first major program to hire an African American head coach.[10][11] Known as "The Fox," Snowden brought the excitement back to Wildcat basketball during his 10 years on the Arizona sideline, averaging more than 80 points per game in six of his 10 years and topping the 100-point barrier 27 times.[9] Snowden led Arizona to the NCAA tournament twice, in 1976 and 1977, getting as far as the Elite Eight in 1976 before losing to UCLA 82–66, a game after defeating UNLV in a Sweet Sixteen matchup. During the 1976 tournament he also logged Arizona's first and only tournament wins until Lute Olson's hiring, beating John Thompson's Georgetown team 83–76. Snowden's 1976 team also won the school's only WAC championship title on a buzzer-beater by Gilbert Myles verses New Mexico, with the help of the spectacular play of Bob Elliott, Jim Rappis, and Al Fleming. In 1978, Coach Snowden helped transition the basketball program over to the newly formed Pac-10. Snowden could not sustain success in the Pac-10, however, finishing no higher than 4th place in the conference. His 9–18 final season led UA to look for a replacement.[8]

Athletic Director Dave Strack brought in Ben Lindsey to replace Fred Snowden in 1983, and on the surface, it seemed like a reasonable move.[8] Lindsey had college expertise, having had a successful career at Grand Canyon University, where he won two national titles.[8] What resulted, however, was nothing short of disaster. The 1983 team went 4–24, with only one Pac-10 win.[8]

Lute Olson era

Coming off a previous season record of 4–24 with only a single Pac-10 win, UA Athletic director Cedric Dempsey hired Lute Olson from the University of Iowa to take over the program.[8] UA needed a coach with a history of quickly turning around programs, which Olson had done previously at Iowa.[8] “I knew we had a tremendous amount of work to do,” Olson recalled in a recent interview with Tucson Lifestyle.[8] “The program was in shambles at that point, after the terrible year before..."[8]

Under Olson, Arizona quickly rose to national prominence. Arizona won its first Pac-10 title in 1986, only three years after his arrival.[8] That season set up an amazing 1987–88 season, which included taking the Great Alaska Shootout championship, the Valley Bank Fiesta Bowl Classic championship and the Pac-10 championship.[8] Under players Steve Kerr, Kenny Lofton and Sean Elliott, Arizona spent much of the season ranked #1 and made their first (and Olson's second) Final Four.[8] While Arizona lost in the Final Four round, their play put the program on the map and launched Arizona's reign as a perennial Pac-10 and NCAA tournament contender.[8]

In 1997, Arizona defeated the University of Kentucky, the defending national champions, to win the NCAA National Championship. Prior to winning the championship in 1997, Arizona stormed back from 10-point deficits in the Southeast Regional First Round and Second Round against #13 South Alabama and #12 College of Charleston, respectively winning 65–57 and 73–69. The Southeast Regional Semifinal pitted against overall #1 Kansas (34–1) which had defeated Arizona the year before in the 1996 West Regional Semifinal. However, Arizona came out fast and stunned the Jayhawks 85–82, then prevailed in overtime against Providence 96–92 in the Elite Eight to clinch a berth in the Final Four. Arizona then beat #1 seed North Carolina 66–58 in the Final Four, which turned out to be Dean Smith's last game as a coach. Arizona also accomplished the unprecedented feat of beating three number one seeds in the same tournament.

The year following the Championship season, 1998, Arizona returned all 5 starters (Mike Bibby, Michael Dickerson, Miles Simon, Bennett Davison, and AJ Bramlett[12]) and were poised to make another run after receiving the #1 overall seed in the West, but were upset by Utah in the Elite 8.

In 1999, all 5 starters were lost to graduation or early entry to the NBA draft and Arizona's hopes of continuing its streak of consecutives trip to the NCAA tournament was in jeopardy until senior point guard Jason Terry (the 6th man the previous two seasons) elevated his game (receiving National Player of the Year honors) and continued the school's amazing streak.

2001 was one of the most challenging and rewarding years for the program. Lute Olson’s wife Bobbi, well known to players and fans alike as a steadfast presence on the sidelines, lost her battle with cancer. The team, which had been a preseason pick by many to win the national title had to play without Olson for three weeks while Olson was on bereavement leave. The Cats vowed to dedicate their season to Bobbi. With guard Jason Gardner, center Loren Woods and forward Michael Wright — each an All-American — leading the way, the Cats trounced their opponents, beating Oregon 104–65, devastating USC 105–61, and charging through the Final Four. They took down Eastern Illinois, Butler, Mississippi, Illinois, and Michigan State, only to be stopped by Duke in the title game.

In his later years at UA, Olson fielded competitive teams with extremely talented point guards. Continuing the reputation and nickname "Point Guard U,"[1] recent standouts include Jason Gardner, Salim Stoudamire, Mustafa Shakur, Jerryd Bayless and Nic Wise. Arizona would win Lute's last Pac-10 title during the 2004–2005 season under the spectacular play of seniors Salim Stoudamire and center Channing Frye. That team also made it to the Elite 8 and the verge of the Final Four before blowing a 15-point lead with four minutes to play and losing in overtime, 90–89, to the No. 1 seed and eventual national runner-up, University of Illinois.[13]

Olson took an unexplained leave of absence at the beginning of the 2007–2008 season. Assistant coach Kevin O'Neill took over interim head coaching duties for the Arizona Wildcats. At that time, Olson announced that he intended to be back for the 2008–09 season and finish out his contract, which was scheduled to end in 2011.[14] His departure was criticized by some members of the media. They also questioned how he and the UA athletic department handled his return and the verbal succession agreement with coach O'Neill.[15] However, on October 23, 2008, he unexpectedly announced his retirement from the program (by way of an announcement from Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood).[16] A few days later, Olson's personal physician held a press conference and explained that the retirement was strongly advised due to health concerns.[17][18]

After Lute

After Lute Olson's abrupt retirement, Arizona Athletic Director Jim Livengood appointed assistant coach Russ Pennell as the interim head coach for the 2008–2009 season 23 days before the start of the season.[19] The appointment came after Mike Dunlap, the associate head coach brought in to replace Kevin O'Neill, turned down the job. Under Pennell, the Cats finished 19-13 in the regular season, including a non-conference win over Kansas and a 7-game win streak with wins over UCLA and Washington. Despite a 19–13 finish to the season, Arizona was controversially selected as one of the last teams into the field of 65 as a 12th seed in the Midwest region, extending its NCAA consecutive tournament appearances to 25 years.[20] The Cats made it to the Sweet 16 (regional semi-finals) with wins over 5-seed Utah and 13-seed Cleveland State, before falling to overall 1-seed, Louisville.[21] Despite Pennell's post-season success, he was not retained, as Arizona announced before his hiring they would hold a national coaching search after the season ended.[21] (On April 9, 2009, Pennell was hired as head coach of the men's basketball team at Division II Grand Canyon University, a member of the Pacific West Conference.)

After the end of the season, various coaching names were considered to succeed Lute Olson on a permanent basis. Arizona contacted Gonzaga's Mark Few, Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon and then-Memphis coach John Calipari (before he accepted the vacant position at Kentucky) to take the job. Arizona even brought USC's Tim Floyd on campus for an interview and made an offer, which he ultimately turned down.

Sean Miller era

Arizona hired Sean Miller from Xavier University to fill the head coaching position. He initially turned the job down before changing his mind and accepting the job on Apr. 6, 2009 despite having never visited the Arizona campus.[22] Miller was formally introduced as the 13th head men's basketball coach at Arizona at a press conference on April 7, 2009 at McKale Center.[23] At the press conference, Miller acknowledged Lute Olson's impact on the Arizona program by addressing Olson personally: "One of the reasons I sit here today is because of the great legacy you built."[24] Miller also promised U of A fans that they would enjoy the style of both offense and defense he would bring to Wildcat basketball. Miller's salary is $1.6 million per year; he will receive an additional $400,000 per season from Nike and media contracts during a five-year deal, as well as a $1 million signing bonus and other amenities such as season tickets to other Wildcat sporting events and the use of a private jet.[24] Within three months of joining the program, Miller compiled a strong five-player recruiting class that ranked 13th nationally in 2009.[25]

After going 16-15 and missing the NCAA tournament for the first time in 25 years during Miller's initial 2009-10 campaign, the Cats would return to form by winning the regular season Pac-10 title in his second year as coach behind the play of sophomore Pac-10 Player of the Year Derrick Williams.[26] It would be the Wildcats' first outright Pac-10 regular season title (its 12th overall), 30-win season (4th overall) and Elite Eight appearance (9th overall) since the 2004-2005 season. In addition, Miller led the Wildcats to their first unbeaten home record (17-0) in 14 years and was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year. This was the first time an Arizona coach received this honor since Lute Olson in 2003. The 17 wins without a loss at home is tied for the second most in school history. [27] Miller would add to the season's success by guiding the Cats to their first Elite Eight appearance since the 2004-2005 Season as a 5-seed. In the second round, Arizona secured a 2-point victory over 12th seeded Memphis (coached by former Wildcat and 1997 champ Josh Pastner) with a blocked shot in the final seconds by Derrick Williams. Arizona would follow with another close game -- a controversial one-point win against 4-seed Texas.[28] In the Sweet-16 match-up, Arizona found itself pitted against top-seeded Duke, the first time since the 2001 title game that the two schools had met.[29] Duke would extend an early lead, but 25 points from Derrick Williams kept the Cats in the game and down by 6 points at the half. [29] In the second half, Williams' teammates picked up the slack, dominating the Blue Devils by scoring 55 second-half points and routing the defending champs 93-77.[29] Arizona's run at the Final-4 would fall 2 points short, losing to 3-seed Connecticut 65-63.

Coaching records

Arizona yearly records


Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
1904-1905 Orin A. Kates 1-0
1905-1906 Orin A. Kates Intra Squad
1906-1907 No coach 3-1
1907-1908 No coach 1-2
1908-1909 No coach 1-1
1909-1910 No coach 2-2
1910-1911 No coach 3-0
1911-1912 Frank L. Kleeberger 2-2
1912-1913 Raymond Quigley 3-2
1913-1914 Raymond Quigley 7-2
1914–1915 J. F. "Pop" McKale 9-0
1915–1916 Pop McKale 5-0
1916–1917 Pop McKale 10-2
1917–1918 Pop McKale 3-2
1918–1919 Pop McKale 6-3
1919–1920 Pop McKale 9-5
1920–1921 Pop McKale 7-0
1921–1922 James Pierce 10-2
1922–1923 Basil Stanley 17-3
1923–1924 Basil Stanley 14-3
1924–1925 Walter Davis 7-4
1925–1926 Fred Enke 6-7
1926–1927 Fred Enke 13-4
1927–1928 Fred Enke 13-3
1928–1929 Fred Enke 19-4
1929–1930 Fred Enke 15-6
1930–1931 Fred Enke 9-6
Border Conference (1931–1961)
1931–1932 Fred Enke 18-2 8-2 1st
1932–1933 Fred Enke 19-5 7-3 1st
1933–1934 Fred Enke 18-9 9-3 2nd
1934–1935 Fred Enke 11-8 5-7 4th
1935–1936 Fred Enke 16-7 11-5 1st
1936–1937 Fred Enke 14-11 9-7 3rd
1937–1938 Fred Enke 13-8 9-7 2nd
1938–1939 Fred Enke 12-11 8-10 5th
1939–1940 Fred Enke 15-10 12-4 1st
1940–1941 Fred Enke 11-7 9-6 2nd
1941–1942 Fred Enke 9-13 6-10 6th
1942–1943 Fred Enke 22-2 16-2 T-1st
1943–1944 Fred Enke 12-2 +
1944–1945 Fred Enke 7-11 3-4 6th +
1945–1946 Fred Enke 25-5 14-3 1st NIT 1st Round (0-1)
1946–1947 Fred Enke 21-3 14-2 1st
1947–1948 Fred Enke 19-10 12-4 1st
1948–1949 Fred Enke 17-11 13-3 1st
1949–1950 Fred Enke 26-5 14-2 1st NIT 1st Round (0-1)
1950–1951 Fred Enke 24-6 15-1 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen (0-1)

NIT 1st Round (0-1)

1951–1952 Fred Enke 11-16 6-8 T-3rd
1952–1953 Fred Enke 13-11 11-3 T-1st
1953–1954 Fred Enke 14-10 8-4 3rd
1954–1955 Fred Enke 8-17 3-9 6th
1955–1956 Fred Enke 11-15 6-6 5th
1956–1957 Fred Enke 13-13 5-5 3rd
1957–1958 Fred Enke 10-15 4-6 T-4th
1958–1959 Fred Enke 4-22 1-9 6th
1959–1960 Fred Enke 10-14 4-6 4th
1960-1961 Fred Enke 11-15 5-5 3rd
1961–1962 Bruce Larson 12-14
Western Athletic Conference (1962–1978)
1962–1963 Bruce Larson 13-13 3-7 T-5th
1963–1964 Bruce Larson 15-11 4-6 4th
1964–1965 Bruce Larson 17-9 5-5 T-2nd
1965–1966 Bruce Larson 15-11 5-5 3rd
1966–1967 Bruce Larson 8-17 3-7 5th
1967–1968 Bruce Larson 11-13 4-6 T-4th
1968–1969 Bruce Larson 17-10 5-5 3rd
1969–1970 Bruce Larson 12-14 8-6 4th
1970–1971 Bruce Larson 10-16 3-11 8th
1971–1972 Bruce Larson 6-20 4-10 7th
1972–1973 Fred Snowden 16-10 9-5 T-2nd
1973–1974 Fred Snowden 19-7 9-5 T-2nd
1974–1975 Fred Snowden 22-7 9-5 T-2nd
1975–1976 Fred Snowden 24-9 11-3 1st NCAA Elite Eight (2-1)
1976–1977 Fred Snowden 21-6 10-4 2nd NCAA 1st Round (0-1)
1977–1978 Fred Snowden 15-11 6-8 T-4th
Pacific-10 Conference (1978–2011)
1978–1979 Fred Snowden 16-11 10-8 T-4th
1979–1980 Fred Snowden 12-15 6-12 6th
1980–1981 Fred Snowden 13-14 8-10 T-5th
1981–1982 Fred Snowden 9-18 4-14 T-8th
1982–1983 Ben Lindsey 4-24 1-17 10th
1983–1984 Lute Olson 11-17 8-10 8th
1984–1985 Lute Olson 21-10 12-6 T-3rd NCAA 1st Round (0-1)
1985–1986 Lute Olson 23-9 14-4 1st NCAA 1st Round (0-1)
1986–1987 Lute Olson 18-12 13-5 2nd NCAA 1st Round (0-1)
1987–1988 Lute Olson 35-3 17-1 1st NCAA Final Four (4-1)
1988–1989 Lute Olson 29-4 17-1 1st NCAA Sweet 16 (2-1)
1989–1990 Lute Olson 25-7 15-3 T-1st NCAA 2nd Round (1-1)
1990–1991 Lute Olson 28-7 14-4 1st NCAA Sweet 16 (2-1)
1991–1992 Lute Olson 24-7 13-5 3rd NCAA 1st Round (0-1)
1992–1993 Lute Olson 24-4 17-1 1st NCAA 1st Round (0-1)
1993–1994 Lute Olson 29-6 14-4 1st NCAA Final Four (4-1)
1994–1995 Lute Olson 24-7 14-4 2nd NCAA 1st Round (0-1)
1995–1996 Lute Olson 27-6 14-4 2nd NCAA Sweet 16 (2-1)
1996–1997 Lute Olson 25-9 11-7 5th NCAA Champions (6-0)
1997–1998 Lute Olson 30-5 17-1 1st NCAA Elite Eight (3-1)
1998–1999 Lute Olson 22-7 13-5 2nd NCAA 1st Round (0-1)*
1999–2000 Lute Olson 27-7 15-3 T-1st NCAA 2nd Round (1-1)
2000–2001 Lute Olson/Jim Rosborough 28-8 15-3 2nd NCAA Runner-Up (5-1)
2001–2002 Lute Olson 24-10 12-6 T-2nd NCAA Sweet 16 (2-1)
2002–2003 Lute Olson 28-4 17-1 1st NCAA Elite Eight (3-1)
2003–2004 Lute Olson 20-10 11-7 3rd NCAA 1st Round (0-1)
2004–2005 Lute Olson 30-7 15-3 1st NCAA Elite Eight (3-1)
2005–2006 Lute Olson 20-13 11-7 T-4th NCAA 2nd Round (1-1)
2006–2007 Lute Olson 20-11 11-7 T-3rd NCAA 1st Round (0-1)
2007–2008 Kevin O'Neill 19-15* 8-10* 7th NCAA 1st Round (0-1)
2008–2009 Russ Pennell 21-14 9-9 T-5th NCAA Sweet 16 (2-1)
2009–2010 Sean Miller 16-15 10-8 4th
2010–2011 Sean Miller 30-8 14-4 1st NCAA Elite Eight (3-1)
Pacific-12 Conference (2011–present)
2011-2012 Sean Miller
Total: 1603-881

      National Champion         Conference Regular Season Champion         Conference Tournament Champion
      Conference Regular Season & Conference Tournament Champion       Conference Division Champion

+ Due to travel restrictions during World War II, no official Border Conference championship was awarded in 1943-44 or 1944-45.

2000-2001 Note: during Olson's leave of absence, the team went 3–2, 3–1 in Pac-10 Play. These totals are not reflected in Olson's final numbers, only in the yearly record. (Olson's numbers are 25–6, 12–2 Pac-10 play)

  • All 19 wins vacated by the NCAA for recruitment violations.

*Appearance vacated by the NCAA after it was discovered that point guard Jason Terry accepted money from agents his junior and senior year.[31][32]

Career coaching records


Head Coach Years Win-Loss Pct.
Orin A. Kates1904–19061-0*1.000
no coach1906–191110-6.625
Frank L. Kleeberger1911–19122-2.500
Raymond Quigley1912–191410-4.714
Pop McKale1914–192149-12.803
James Pierce1921–192210-2.833
Basil Stanley1922–192431-6.838
Walter Davis1924–19257-4.636
Fred Enke1925–1961509-324.611
Bruce Larson1961–1972136-148.479
Fred Snowden1972–1982167-108.607
Ben Lindsey1982–19834-24.143
Lute Olson1983–2007589-188.758
Jim Rosborough ^2000–20013-2.600
Kevin O'Neill+2007–200819-15.559
Russ Pennell2008–200921-14.600
Sean Miller2009–present45-22.672

* Only intrasquad games were played in 1905-06.

^ Rosborough served as head coach for five games during the 2000-01 campaign while Olson took a leave of absence. Arizona was 28-8 overall and 15-3 in Pac-10 play that season.

+ O’Neill served as interim head coach while Olson missed the season due to a leave of absence.

Coaching awards

John .R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award

Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award

  • Lute Olson - 2001[34]

Pac-10 Coach of the Year

  • Lute Olson - 1986, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2003[34]
  • Sean Miller - 2011


Retired jerseys

Retired Basketball Jerseys





Individual awards

John R Wooden Award National Player of the Year[35]

National Players of the Year[35]

The following players were named player of the year by at least one major publication:

Pac-10 Player of the Year[35]

Pac-10 Freshman of the Year[35]

Frank Hessler Award Pac-10 All-Newcomer of the Year[35]

  • 2000 - Loren Woods

Men's NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player[36]


First team All-American

  • 1988 - Sean Elliott
  • 1989 - Sean Elliott
  • 1995 - Damon Stoudamire
  • 1998 - Mike Bibby
  • 1998 - Miles Simon
  • 1999 - Jason Terry

NBA Draft picks

11 NBA Championships have been won by Wildcats players. Since the NBA draft was shortened to two rounds in 1989, Arizona leads the nation with 31 selections in that span. This number grew when Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger were selected in the 2009 NBA Draft.[37]

Name Round Overall Pick Year Team
Morris Udall 1948 Denver Nuggets (NBL)
Lincoln Richmond 1948 Ft. Wayne Pistons
Leon Blevins 7 79 1950 Indianapolis Olympians
Leo Johnson 5 44 1951 Ft. Wayne Pistons
Roger Johnson 1952 Milwaukee Hawks
Ernie McCray 17 95 1960 Cincinnati Royals
Warren Rustand 4 31 1965 San Francisco Warriors
Bill Davis 12 160 1968 Phoenix Suns
Michael Foster 1970 Indiana Pacers (ABA)
Tom Lee 9 147 1971 Philadelphia 76ers
Eddie Myers 10 160 1971 Baltimore Bullets (Miami Floridians (ABA))
Bill Warner 11 170 1971 Buffalo Braves (New York Nets (ABA))
Bruce Anderson 7 101 1972 Detroit Pistons
Eric Money 2 33 1974 Detroit Pistons (Denver Nuggets (ABA))
Coniel Norman 3 37 1974 Philadelphia 76ers (Denver Nuggets (ABA))
Al Fleming 2 30 1976 Phoenix Suns
James Rappis 5 77 1976 Milwaukee Bucks
Bob Elliott 2 42 1977 Philadelphia 76ers
Herman Harris 2 43 1977 Philadelphia 76ers
Jerome Gladney 8 164 1977 San Antonio Spurs
Phil Taylor 10 198 1978 Denver Nuggets
Larry Demic 1 9 1979 New York Knicks
Joe Nehls 7 152 1980 Houston Rockets
Ron Davis 4 79 1981 Washington Bullets
Robbie Dosty 6 148 1981 Golden State Warriors
Frank Smith 8 177 1983 Portland Trail Blazers
Leon Wood 1 10 1984 Philadelphia 76ers
Pete Williams 4 89 1985 Denver Nuggets
Eddie Smith 7 158 1985 Denver Nuggets
Tom Tolbert 2 34 1988 Charlotte Hornets
Steve Kerr 2 50 1988 Phoenix Suns
Sean Elliott 1 3 1989 San Antonio Spurs
Anthony Cook 1 24 1989 Phoenix Suns
Jud Buechler 2 38 1990 Seattle SuperSonics
Brian Williams 1 10 1991 Orlando Magic
Sean Rooks 2 30 1992 Dallas Mavericks
Chris Mills 1 22 1993 Cleveland Cavaliers
Ed Stokes 2 35 1993 Miami Heat
Khalid Reeves 1 12 1994 Miami Heat
Damon Stoudamire 1 7 1995 Toronto Raptors
Joseph Blair 2 35 1996 Seattle SuperSonics
Ben Davis 2 43 1996 Phoenix Suns
Reggie Geary 2 56 1996 Cleveland Cavaliers
Mike Bibby 1 2 1998 Vancouver Grizzlies
Michael Dickerson 1 14 1998 Houston Rockets
Miles Simon 2 42 1998 Orlando Magic
Jason Terry 1 10 1999 Atlanta Hawks
A. J. Bramlett 2 39 1999 Cleveland Cavaliers
Richard Jefferson 1 13 2001 Houston Rockets
Gilbert Arenas 2 31 2001 Golden State Warriors
Michael Wright 2 39 2001 New York Knicks
Loren Woods 2 46 2001 Minnesota Timberwolves
Robertas Javtokas 2 56 2001 San Antonio Spurs
Luke Walton 2 32 2003 Los Angeles Lakers
Andre Iguodala 1 9 2004 Philadelphia 76ers
Channing Frye 1 8 2005 New York Knicks
Salim Stoudamire 2 31 2005 Atlanta Hawks
Hassan Adams 2 54 2006 New Jersey Nets
Marcus Williams 2 33 2007 San Antonio Spurs
Jerryd Bayless 1 11 2008 Indiana Pacers
Jordan Hill 1 8 2009 New York Knicks
Chase Budinger 2 44 2009 Detroit Pistons

Source: Arizona 2008-09 Media Guide [38]

Notable Former Arizona Wildcats

Name Seasons as Wildcat Post-Wildcat accomplishment
Gilbert Arenas 1999-01 NBA All-star (3), Currently with Orlando Magic
Mike Bibby 1996-98 NBA All-Rookie first team, currently with Miami Heat
Jud Buechler 1986-90 NBA Champion (3), 11 NBA seasons
Bison Dele (Brian Williams) 1989-90 NBA Champion, 7 NBA seasons
Sean Elliott 1985-89 NBA All-star (2), NBA Champion (1), 12 NBA seasons
Channing Frye 2001-05 NBA All-Rookie Team, currently with Phoenix Suns
Andre Iguodala 2002-04 NBA All-star (1), NBA All-Rookie Team, Currently with Philadelphia 76ers
Richard Jefferson 1998-01 United States - 2004 Summer Olympics – Bronze medal, Currently with San Antonio Spurs
Steve Kerr 1983-88 NBA All-star (2), NBA Champion (5), 17 NBA seasons, TNT NBA Analyst
Kenny Lofton 1985-89 MLB All-star (6), Gold Glove Award (4), 17 MLB seasons
Josh Pastner 1996-00 Head Coach, University of Memphis men's basketball
Damon Stoudamire 1991-95 NBA Rookie of the Year, 16 NBA Seasons
Jason Terry 1995-99 NBA Sixth-man award, currently with Dallas Mavericks
Mo Udall 1941-42, 46-48 Former member U.S. Congress (30 years)
Luke Walton 1998-03 NBA Champion (2), currently with Los Angeles Lakers
Leon Wood 1979-80 United States - 1984 Summer Olympics – Gold medal, 7 NBA seasons

Source: Arizona 2008-09 Media Guide [38]

Post season

Pac-10 Tournament

UA has won the Pac-10 Tournament a record four times, including three straight times from 1988-90.[39] The Wildcats have played in the tournament final six times.[39] UA also has a record 5 tournament MVPs.[39] Salim Stoudamire is 1 of only 2 players to win the MVP from a losing squad.[39]

Year Champion Score Runner-Up Arena City Tournament MVP
1988 Arizona 93-67 Oregon State McKale Center Tucson, Arizona Sean Elliott, Arizona
1989 Arizona 73-51 Stanford Great Western Forum Inglewood, California Sean Elliott, Arizona
1990 Arizona 94-78 UCLA University Activity Center Tempe, Arizona Jud Buechler, Arizona
2002 Arizona 81-71 USC Staples Center Los Angeles, California Luke Walton, Arizona
2005 Washington 81-72 Arizona Staples Center Los Angeles, California Salim Stoudamire, Arizona

Source: 2007-08 Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Guide pages 50–60 (PDF copy available at 2007-08 Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Guide)[39]

NCAA Tournament

The University of Arizona has made 28 NCAA tournament appearances, including a run of 25 consecutive years from 1985–2009, which is second only to the North Carolina Tar Heel's 27 year streak from 1975-2001.[2][3][40] Their combined record is 43-26, including a 1997 National Championship and 4 final fours (1988, 1994, 1997, 2001) .[41] Arizona is also one of only four #2 seeds to ever lose a first round game, losing 64-61 to #15 seed Santa Clara, led by future NBA star Steve Nash in 1993.[42] In addition, the 1997 Arizona team is the only team to date to beat three #1 seeds to win the national championship.

NCAA Tournament Seeding History (seeding began in 1979)

Year Tournament
1985 10 1st Round (0-1)
1986 9 1st Round (0-1)
1987 10 1st Round (0-1)
1988 1 Final Four (4-1)
1989 1 Sweet 16 (2-1)
1990 2 2nd Round (1-1)
1991 2 Sweet 16 (2-1)
1992 3 1st Round (0-1)
1993 2 1st Round (0-1)
1994 2 Final Four (4-1)
1995 5 1st Round (0-1)
1996 3 Sweet 16 (2-1)
1997 4 Champions (6-0)
1998 1 Elite Eight (3-1)
1999 4 1st Round (0-1)
2000 1 2nd Round (1-1)
2001 2 Runner-Up (5-1)
2002 3 Sweet 16 (2-1)
2003 1 Elite Eight (3-1)
2004 9 1st Round (0-1)
2005 3 Elite Eight (3-1)
2006 8 2nd Round (1-1)
2007 8 1st Round (0-1)
2008 10 1st Round (0-1)
2009 12 Sweet 16 (2-1)
2011 5 Elite Eight (3-1)

Current team

Game day traditions

Arizona's home games include many traditions involving the The Pride of Arizona pep band and the Zona Zoo.

  • Before every game, the band splits into four sections in the four sides of McKale Center. They play Bear Down Arizona in sequence before the band runs back to the student section in the north stands and plays all of Bear Down. The band also yells "Hi fans!" to the fans, who respond by yelling "Hi band!" and "Hi Sean!" to head coach Sean Miller, who responds by waving to the band. The band also yells "Hi Niya!" to Arizona women's basketball coach Niya Butts.
  • While the opposing team's players are being introduced, the band and students will turn their backs to the court. As each player's name is announced, they will yell "Sucks!" In the interest of sportsmanship, though, the Athletic Department is attempting to phase this tradition out.
  • During the first four minutes of each half, or until the first media timeout, the band and students have several chants.
    • Every time an opposing player dribbles, the yell is "Boing!"
    • Every time they pass, the yell is "Pass!"
    • Every time they try to shoot, the yell is "Brick!"
  • When an opposing player fouls an Arizona player, the band and students chant, while pointing at the opposing player, "You! You! You! You! You! You! You! You! You! On you, that's who!" If the foul occurs during a shot and the player makes the shot, the chant is instead "You! You! You! You! You! You! You! You! You! Hey! No no no no! No no no no! No no no no! No no no no! Don't touch me!"
  • If an opposing player accrues four fouls during the game, they will chant "Four!" four times while waving four fingers. If a player fouls out, the band plays the beat from "Another One Bites the Dust," concluding with the band and students yelling "Hey! We're gonna get you too!" They will then chant "Left! Right!" as the player walks back to the bench and yell "Sit down!" when the player sits.
  • When opposing players are attempting foul shots, besides attempting to distract the player, the band and students have several chants, but the only constant one is yelled if the player misses their first shot of a two-shot foul, in which case they yell "Nice shot, buddy!"
  • If Arizona is beating an opponent by a comfortable margin late in the game, the band and students will chant "Go start the bus!" repeatedly. If an opponent makes a big play, they will chant "It just doesn't matter!"
  • Since the 1980s, the "Ooh Aah Man" Joe Cavaleri has made appearances at McKale to pump up the crowd. He starts by spelling out "A-R-I-Z-O-N-A!" with his body as the crowd chants along. He then directs the crowd in chanting "U of A!", first by each side of the arena, then by the north and south sides and east and west sides simultaneously then by the whole arena. His routine usually involves pulling off his shirt and pants to reveal another Arizona shirt and shorts underneath. Unfortunately, Cavaleri was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and has only made a few appearances during the 2010-2011 season.[43][44][45]
  • At the end of every home game (and every Arizona athletics event the band is present at) the band plays Arizona's alma mater, "All Hail, Arizona!" Students and fans link arms, sway as they sing and jump up and down while singing the last part of the song.

Conference membership history

All-time records

External links

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