Arizona Wildcats men's basketball
|Arizona Wildcats men's basketball|
|University||University of Arizona|
|All-time record||1,795–938–1 (.657)|
|Athletic director||Dave Heeke|
|Head coach||Sean Miller (10th season)|
McKale Center |
Cardinal and Navy|
|NCAA Tournament champions|
|NCAA Tournament runner-up|
|NCAA Tournament Final Four|
|1988, 1994, 1997, 2001|
|NCAA Tournament Elite Eight|
|1976, 1988, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2011, 2014, 2015|
|NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen|
|1951, 1976, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017|
|NCAA Tournament Round of 32|
|1976, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017|
|NCAA Tournament appearances|
1951, 1976, 1977, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999*, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008*, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018|
*vacated by NCAA
|Conference tournament champions|
1988, 1989, 1990, 2002, 2015, 2017, 2018
|Conference regular season champions|
1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018
The Arizona Wildcats men's basketball team is the intercollegiate men's basketball program representing the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. They compete in the Pac-12 Conference of NCAA Division I and 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 (1983–2007), who established the program as among America's elite in college basketball. One writer referred to UA as "Point Guard U" because the school has produced successful guards like Steve Kerr, Damon Stoudamire, Khalid Reeves, Mike Bibby, Jason Terry, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Gardner, Jerryd Bayless, and T. J. McConnell, among others.
From 1985 to 2009, the Arizona basketball team reached the NCAA Division I Tournament for 25 consecutive years, two years shy of North Carolina's record with 27. Despite having their 1999 and 2008 appearances later vacated by the NCAA, the media still cites Arizona's streak, and simply notes the changes. The Wildcats have reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament on four occasions (1988, 1994, 1997, and 2001). They have also made two appearances in the National Championship (won over Kentucky Wildcats in 1997, lost to Duke Blue Devils in 2001). In Pac-10 play, former head coach Lute Olson currently holds the record for most wins as a Pac-10 coach with 327. In addition, the team has won sixteen Pac-10/12 regular season championship titles and seven Pac-10/12 tournament championship titles. Arizona also holds the distinction of recording five out of the seven 17–1 Pac-10 seasons (one-loss seasons). No team has gone undefeated since the formation of the Pac-10/12.
Arizona ranks 13th all time heading into the 2018–19 season with 1,795 wins and ranks 8th by winning percentage at (.657). Arizona has spent 37 weeks at No. 1 in the AP Poll, which is tied for eighth-most all-time; 25 weeks at No. 2, 12th all-time; 150 weeks in the Top 5, seventh all-time; 299 weeks in the Top 10, sixth all-time; and 537 weeks in the top 25, 9th all-time.
- 1 History
- 2 Coaches
- 3 Season by season results
- 4 Rivalries
- 5 Wildcats of note
- 5.1 Wildcats in NBA
- 5.2 Current Arizona Wildcats college coaches
- 5.3 Wildcats in the Olympics
- 5.4 Honors, awards, and accomplishments
- 6 Postseason results
- 7 Arizona Basketball cumulative all-time statistics
- 7.1 All-Time Statistical leaders
- 7.2 School records
- 7.3 Home Court Winning Streaks
- 7.4 Record vs. Pac-12 opponents
- 7.5 Pac-12 series records
- 7.6 Arizona vs. the AP Top 25
- 7.7 Conferences
- 8 Game day traditions
- 9 Facilities
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Early years (1904–1925)
The University of Arizona fielded its first men's basketball team in 1904–05. Orin Albert Kates coached the team and drew opponents from local YMCAs. The first game Arizona played ended in a 40–32 victory over the Morenci YMCA.
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. McKale took things to a new level, posting a 9–0 record his first season as a basketball coach. Moreover, McKale elevated the program to intercollegiate play. 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. The McKale Memorial Center, the main arena for Arizona basketball, is named in his honor.
Fred Enke era
From 1925 to 1961, the program was under the stewardship of Fred Enke, UA's longest tenured coach. 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.
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. In 1962, Arizona joined the Western Athletic Conference as a founding member after the Border Conference disbanded.
Fred Snowden era
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. 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. 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.
Known for his high-octane offense and remembered as a trailblazer, Fred "The Fox" Snowden brought excitement to Arizona basketball during his 10-year tenure as the program's head coach. Snowden, who led the Wildcats from 1972–82, was the first African-American head basketball coach at an NCAA Division I institution, amassing a 167–108 mark. The 1973 Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, his career winning percentage of .607 has been topped by only three UA coaches since 1924. Nicknamed "The Fox" due to his cool demeanor, Snowden led Arizona to three postseason berths, including the 1975 National Commissioners’ Invitational Tournament and the 1976 and 1977 NCAA Tournaments. His best season came in 1976, when the Wildcats went 24–9, won the Western Athletic Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA West Regional Final. The Brewton, Ala., native was the head coach who led Arizona into the Pac-10 in the 1978–79 season, guiding the program for its first four seasons in the Conference. Snowden also oversaw the transition into the McKale Center after its opening in 1973. He was inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame in 1988. Prior to his role at Arizona, Snowden was an assistant coach at Michigan. He also served on the coaching staff of his high school, Northwestern High School in Detroit, Mich., where he coached for five years after attending Wayne State University from 1954–58. Snowden died in 1994 at the age of 57.
Athletic Director Dave Strack brought in Ben Lindsey to replace Fred Snowden in 1983, and on the surface, it seemed like a reasonable move. Lindsey had junior college expertise, having had a successful career at Grand Canyon University, where he won two national titles. What resulted, however, was nothing short of disaster. The 1983 team finished with the worst season in school history at 4–24, with only one Pac-10 win.
Lute Olson era
Newly hired UA Athletic director Cedric Dempsey fired Lindsey after only one season and hired University of Iowa coach Lute Olson as his successor. UA needed a coach with a history of quickly turning around programs, which Olson had done previously at Iowa. "I knew we had a tremendous amount of work to do", Olson recalled in a recent interview with Tucson Lifestyle. "The program was in shambles at that point, after the terrible year before..."
Under Olson, Arizona quickly rose to national prominence. Arizona won its first Pac-10 title in 1986, only three years after his arrival. 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. 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. 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. Sean Elliott was awarded the John R. Wooden Award on the season and would set the PAC-10 scoring record.
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 1997 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. This feat has never been accomplished by another team.
The year following the Championship season, 1998, Arizona returned all 5 starters (Mike Bibby, Michael Dickerson, Miles Simon, Bennett Davison, and A. J. Bramlett) 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.
1999 NCAA sanctions under Olsen
In 2000, former Wildcat Jason Terry, stated that he received approximately $4,500 in cash, checks and wire transfers from New York sports agent Larry Fox, after his junior season. The NCAA announced that as a result a one-game 1999 NCAA tournament appearance was formally vacated. In addition, Arizona asked Terry to repay the $45,363 in forfeited NCAA 1999 tournament revenue and banned him from the UA Sports Hall of Fame, including a provision that his jersey would not be retired. Terry's jersey was later retired in 2015.
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. While being considered the favorite to win the title, which would have been Coach Olsen's 2nd and tied him with Coach Mike Krzyzewski, his opponent, the Blue Devils claimed a ten-point victory in the game. This is the last game Coach Olsen ever coached in the Final Four and is considered by fans of the program to be his most bitter defeat. A championship would have vaulted him into hallowed ground among coaches, being one of few with multiple titles. Instead he remains tied with many coaches who have a single championship ring to their name. Meanwhile, his opponent in that game now is alone in second place among college coaches with five championship rings, behind only John Wooden's ten. It should be noted that all five of Krzyzewski's titles came in the 64 team field era while zero of Wooden's did. Still Coach Olsen earned the respect of his contemporary, Coach K said in the post game interview that "Arizona had a great team and an amazing season and was worthy of winning the championship, lets give a hand to Coach Olsen and his team." The comment drew rousing applause from the audience in attendance and made Coach Olsen proud, even in defeat, to be honored as an equal by Coach Krzyzewski who many claim is the best coach in college history.
In his later years at UA, Olson fielded competitive teams with extremely talented point guards. Continuing the reputation and nickname "Point Guard U," recent standouts include Jason Gardner, Salim Stoudamire, Mustafa Shakur, Jerryd Bayless and Nic Wise. Arizona would win Olson'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.
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. 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. However, on October 23, 2008, he unexpectedly announced his retirement from the program (by way of an announcement from Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood). A few days later, Olson's personal physician held a press conference and explained that the retirement was strongly advised due to health concerns.
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. 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. 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. 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. (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.)
Further NCAA sanctions under Olsen
Following Olsen's retirement, reports of NCAA violations arose regarding payment of impermissible benefits to players and recruiting violations. In response, Arizona self-imposed sanctions that included a reduction in the number of recruiting visits by coaches and prospective players, the disbanding of a booster group, and implementation of a series of administrative and rules changes to prevent further violations. The NCAA upheld most of those self-imposed sanctions but determined the school had used two ineligible players in 2007-08 and would have to vacate all wins involving those players and eliminate their statistics. The NCAA reduced the number of scholarships and visits with recruits Arizona was allowed to make. The NCAA found that Olson failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance at the university but decided against sanctioning the coach because he was retired and had health issues. "I think that was my fault," Olson said during a 2008 interview with ESPN.com. "That wasn't anyone else's fault. It was my error and it was a big error. But I guess in 26 years you are allowed to make a mistake once in a while anyway and that's not to say I haven't made a lot of them but in terms of that, that was a big mistake on my part."
Sean Miller era
After the end of the season, various coaching names were considered to succeed Lute Olson on a permanent basis. Arizona was perceived to have interest in 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 while Arizona claims no formal offer was ever presented, Floyd ultimately turned down the job publicly.
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. 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. 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." 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. Within three months of joining the program, Miller compiled a strong five-player recruiting class that ranked 13th nationally in 2009. After going 16–15 and missing the NCAA tournament for the first time in 25 years during Miller's initial 2009–10 campaign.
In his second season as the head coach at Arizona, the Cats finished the season with 30–8, 14–4 Pac-12 play, behind the play of sophomore Pac-10 Player of the Year Derrick Williams. It would be the Wildcats' first outright Pac-10 regular season title (its 12th overall), 4th 30+ win season (1st overall) and Elite Eight appearance (8th 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. 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 member of the 1997 national title team) 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. 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. 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. 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. Arizona's run at the Final Four would fall 2 points short, losing to 3-seed (and eventual national champion) Connecticut 65–63.
For his third season, Arizona's 2011 recruiting class was ranked 7th, notably signing Nick Johnson and Josiah Turner. Arizona secured three players in the top nine of the ESPNU 100, with all four newly signed players within the top 36. This has cemented Arizona as the No. 1 signing class nationally, surpassing Kentucky who held the No. 1 spot 2010 and 2011. The Wildcats missed the postseason for the second time, reached to the NIT Tournament before falling to Bucknell to finish the season 23–12 overall, 12–6 in Pac-12.
In his fourth season, Miller guided to its second top-5 ranking in the AP poll(the first coming in weeks 7–10 of the 2012–2013 season), Arizona reached the Sweet 16 in 2013 falling to Ohio State, finished the season with 27–8, 12–6 in Pac-12.
In his fifth season with the most talent Coach Miller has had since arriving in Tucson. On December 9, 2013, Arizona became the #1 ranked Team in the Country for the 6th time in school history, after a 9–0 start with wins over traditional national powerhouses Duke and UNLV. The Wildcats followed this up by securing a key come-from-behind victory on the road at Michigan on December 14 and led the Wildcats to their second outright Pac-12 Regular Season Title (its 13th overall, 26th regular season overall) in Sean Miller's fifth year as the head coach. Arizona reached the second unbeaten home record at (18–0), Coach Miller again named the second Pac-10/12 coach of the year, 5th 30+ wins season (2nd overall), 2nd Elite Eight appearance (9th overall) in 2014. But in the 2014 NCAA tournament, the Wildcats would fall to Wisconsin in overtime, they finish the season with 33–5, 15–3 in Pac-12.
In his sixth season as the Arizona Wildcats basketball head coach, after Gonzaga's home loss to BYU on February 28, 2015, Arizona claimed the longest active home winning streak in D-I men's college basketball (38th home win at 2nd all-time, 82nd home win at 5th all-time). Arizona defeated #13 Utah in Salt Lake City the same day, winning its share of the Pac-12 regular season title. After three losses to Pac-12 archrival Arizona State, Oregon State and UNLV, Arizona won their third Pac-12 regular season championship title (2nd straight year, its 14th overall, 27th overall). Arizona reached the third unbeaten home record at (17–0). The Wildcats completes their sixth ever 30+ win (3rd overall) and won their first Pac-12 Tournament title (5th overall) since 2002. In the 2015 NCAA tournament, the Wildcats fell to the Wisconsin Badgers in Elite Eight, 85–78, and finished the season 34–4, 16–2 in the Pac-12.
In his seventh season, They finished the season 25–9, 12–6 in Pac-12 play to tie with California for third place. They defeated Colorado in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament to advance to the semifinals where they lost to Oregon. In the 2016 NCAA Tournament, as a 6-seed in the South Region. They lost in the first round to Wichita State.
In his eighth season at UA, AP polls & 81-straight coaches polls. The 97-consecutive weeks in the AP poll is currently the second-longest streak in the nation behind Kansas at 161 weeks. They have been ranked every week in the 2016-2017 season, bringing those totals to 97 weeks for the AP & 100 weeks for the coaches poll. Arizona won its first 10 conference games, the best start since the '97-'98 season when they started 16-0. They finished the season at seventh ever 30+ wins with 32–5, tied at 16–2 with Oregon in Pac-12 play for first place to win their 3rd Pac-12 regular season championship title for the 15th time (28th overall). The Wildcats entered the Pac-12 Tournament as a 2-seed, the Wildcats defeated 7-seed Colorado in the quarterfinals, 3-seed UCLA in the semifinals and 1-seed Oregon in the championship game, Wildcats won their 2nd Pac-12 Tournament championship title for the 6th time. In the 2017 NCAA Tournament, as an 2-seed in the West regional, Arizona defeated the 15-seed North Dakota 100–82 in the first round, 7-seed Saint Mary's 69–60 in the second round and losing to Xavier 71–73 in the Sweet Sixteen.
As Miller's ninth season as the head coach at Arizona was about to get underway, federal prosecutors announced, on September 26, 2017, bribery, soliciting a bribe and wire fraud charges against assistant coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson as part of a far-reaching, college basketball-wide scandal. Perhaps in part due to the ongoing scandal, the Wildcats ranked No. 2 in the country at one point, lost three games at the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. Arizona would eventually fire Richardson for his role in the scandal and the team would recover to lead the Pac 12 for the majority of the season. On February 24, 2018, Associate Head Coach Lorenzo Romar was temporarily named head coach after news broke the previous day that Miller had been caught on an FBI wiretap offering to pay players to come to Arizona. On March 1, Miller held a joint press conference with the University denying all allegations and stating he would be retained as men's head basketball coach. That same night, the Wildcats won their 29th regular season conference title, 16th in the Pac-12, and secured the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament by defeating Stanford 75–67. On March 10, Arizona defeated USC to win a record seventh conference tournament title. As a result, the Wildcats received an automatic bid to their sixth straight NCAA Tournament (35th NCAA tournament appearance, 12th all time) as the No. 4 seed in the South regional. The Wildcats, a trendy pick to make the Final Four and win the championship were blown out in the First Round by No. 13 seed Buffalo, losing 89–68.
Sean Miller is currently in his tenth season as the Arizona Wildcats head coach.
The Wildcats have had 15 coaches in their 113-year history. Sean Miller is the current coach. To date, 1 Wildcats coach have won the two National Coach-of-the-Year award: Lute Olson in 1988 and 1990. Additionally, 2 Wildcats coaches have been named Pac-12 Conference Coach-of-the-Year: Lute Olson in 1986, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1998 and 2003 and Sean Miller in 2011, 2014, and 2017.
Season by season results
Under Sean Miller
|2010–11||Arizona||30–8||14–4||1st||NCAA Elite Eight|
|2011–12||Arizona||23–12||12–6||4th||NIT First Round|
|2012–13||Arizona||27–8||12–6||T–2nd||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|2013–14||Arizona||33–5||15–3||1st||NCAA Elite Eight|
|2014–15||Arizona||34–4||16–2||1st||NCAA Elite Eight|
|2015–16||Arizona||25–9||12–6||T-3rd||NCAA First Round|
|2016–17||Arizona||32–5||16–2||T-1st||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|2017–18||Arizona||27–8||14–4||1st||NCAA First Round|
|Arizona:||247–74 (.769)||121–41 (.747)|
Postseason invitational champion
Since becoming a University on December 5, 1958. Arizona leads ASU 72–56. Since both schools joined the Pac-10 conference in the 1978–79 season Arizona leads ASU 58–26. Since Lute Olson took over as head coach for the 1983–84 season Arizona leads ASU 57–15. Before the arrival of Lute Olson at Arizona, the Bruins had won 21 of 23 games against the Wildcats. UCLA had been seen as the dominant college basketball program in the west, with few teams able to challenge UCLA for the throne beyond a few wins. The rivalry did not gather steam until Lute Olson's arrival in 1984, who compiled a 28–23 record against the Bruins during his tenure as Arizona's head coach.
The most recent matchup came in Tempe, AZ on March 10, 2018, where Arizona beat ASU 79-72. Arizona lead the all time series with 152–83.
Since then, the two schools competed for the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) Championship every year, with the two teams winning 22 out of the 30 conference titles, and 8 of 17 conference tournament titles. Arizona clinched their first conference title in 1986, when they won on the road at UCLA in Olsen's third season. The UCLA-Arizona basketball rivalry is still seen as the match up of the two premier teams in the conference. Also, the performance of the two schools influences the national opinion of the conference. California Coach Mike Montgomery has stated, "...If those two are not good, the conference is not perceived as being good. People don't give credit to the schools across the board in the league." Since the mid-1980s, Arizona has also had a basketball rivalry with UCLA, as the two schools competed for the Pac-10 Championship every year. Since 1985 the two teams have combined to win 24 out of the 34 conference titles. The UCLA-Arizona basketball rivalry still is seen as the match up of the two premier teams in the conference. Also, the performance of the two schools influences the national opinion of the conference.
The most recent matchup came in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinal game on March 10, 2018, where Arizona beat UCLA 78-67 in overtime. Arizona Wildcats trailed the all time series lead by UCLA with 56–45.
|Team||Arizona Record||First Meeting||Latest Result||Home Record||Away Record||Neutral Record||Notes|
|Arizona State (in-state)||152–83 (.648)||Dec 13, 1913 (Arizona 41–17)||Feb 15, 2018 (Arizona 77–70)||88–29 (.759)||63–53 (.543)||1–1 (.500)||Arizona–Arizona State|
|UCLA||45–56 (.446)||Feb 19, 1923 (UCLA 43–30)||March 9, 2018 (Arizona 78-67)||24–17 (.585)||15–33 (.313)||5–6 (.455)||Arizona–UCLA|
|Total||196–139 (.585)||1913||Present||112–46 (.709)||78–86 (.476)||6–7 (.462)||N/A|
Arizona also has intense rivalries with the in-state Grand Canyon and Northern Arizona. As well as out-of-state rivalries, including Kansas, Duke, San Diego State and Gonzaga.
|Team||Arizona Record||First Meeting||Latest Result||Home Record||Away Record||Neutral Record|
|BYU||20–19 (.513)||Dec 1, 1951 (BYU 68–62)||Dec 11, 2010 (BYU 87–65)||15–4 (.789)||4–14 (.222)||1–1 (.500)|
|Colorado||18–12 (.600)||Dec 2, 1960 (Colorado 82–72)||Mar 8, 2018 (Arizona 83–67)||9–3 (.750)||3–8 (.273)||6–1 (.857)|
|Duke||5–4 (.556)||Dec 16, 1961 (Duke 78–47)||Nov 29, 2013 (Arizona 72–66)||2–0 (1.000)||0–1 (.000)||3–3 (.500)|
|Gonzaga||6–2 (.750)||Nov. 29, 2000 (Arizona 101–87)||Dec. 3, 2016 (Gonzaga 69–62)||2–0 (1.000)||1–0 (1.000)||3–2 (.600)|
|Grand Canyon (in-state)||5–0 (1.000)||January 6, 1978 (Arizona 78–66)||December 14, 2016 (Arizona 64–54)||5–0 (1.000)||0–0 (–)||0–0 (–)|
|Illinois||8–6 (.571)||Dec 27, 1966 (Illinois 93–77)||Dec 8, 2007 (Arizona 78–72 OT)||3–0 (1.000)||0–3 (.000)||5–3 (.625)|
|Kansas||4–8 (.333)||Dec 31, 1979 (Kansas 78–60)||Nov 27, 2010 (Kansas 87–79)||1–2 (.333)||1–2 (.333)||2–4 (.333)|
|Michigan||8–2 (.800)||Dec 30, 1957 (Michigan 88–76)||Dec 13, 2014 (Arizona 80–53)||2–1 (.667)||1–1 (.500)||5–0 (1.000)|
|Michigan State||5–2 (.714)||Jan 2, 1947 (Arizona 45–43)||Nov. 11, 2016 (Arizona 65–63)||2–0 (1.000)||1–1 (.500)||2–1 (.667)|
|New Mexico||84–42 (.667)||Feb 1, 1917 (New Mexico 28–19)||Dec 20, 2016 (Arizona 77–46)||53–9 (.855)||30–32 (.484)||1–1 (.500)|
|North Carolina||3–4 (.429)||Dec 28, 1948 (North Carolina 60–49)||Jan 27, 2007 (North Carolina 92–64)||0–1 (.000)||0–1 (.000)||3–2 (.600)|
|Northern Arizona (in-state)||98–27 (.784)||February 10, 1919 (NAU 37–32)||November 10, 2017 (Arizona 101–67)||68–6 (.919)||30–21 (.588)||0–0 (–)|
|San Diego State||24–7 (.774)||Dec 27, 1945 (Arizona 46–44)||Nov 26, 2014 (Arizona 61–59)||14–2 (.875)||7–5 (.583)||3–0 (1.000)|
|Texas Tech||24–28 (.462)||Jan 15, 1934 (Texas Tech 33–29)||Dec 3, 2013 (Arizona 79–58)||17–9 (.654)||5–18 (.217)||2–1 (.667)|
|UNLV||9–12 (.429)||Dec 28, 1972 (UNLV 65–64)||Dec 2, 2017 (Arizona 91–88 OT)||6–2 (.750)||2–8 (.200)||1–2 (.333)|
|Utah||33–29 (.532)||Dec 21, 1953 (Utah 65–57)||Jan. 27, 2018 (Arizona 74–73)||19–8 (.704)||11–20 (.355)||3–1 (.750)|
|UTEP||61–30 (.670)||Feb 2, 1920 (Arizona 24–15)||Dec 19, 2014 (Arizona 60–55)||37–8 (.822)||23–22 (.511)||1–0 (1.000)|
|Wisconsin||2–5 (.286)||Dec 3, 1962 (Arizona 51–46)||March 28, 2015 (Wisconsin 85–78)||0–0 (–)||1–0 (.609)||1–5 (.167)|
|Total||416–239 (.635)||1919||Present||255–55 (.823)||119–157 (.431)||42–27 (.609)|
Wildcats of note
Wildcats in NBA
Current NBA players
|Name||NBA team||Seasons as Wildcat||Post-Wildcat accomplishment|
|Channing Frye||Cleveland Cavaliers||2001–05||NBA All-Rookie first team, NBA Champion (2016), NBA 3 Point Contest participant (2010)|
|Andre Iguodala||Golden State Warriors||2002–04||3x NBA Champion (2015, 2017, 2018), NBA Finals MVP, United States – 2012 Summer Olympics – Gold medal, NBA All-Rookie Team, NBA All-star, 2x NBA All-Defensive Team, NBA Dunk Contest participant (2006)|
|Richard Jefferson||Denver Nuggets||1998–01||United States – 2004 Summer Olympics – Bronze medal, NBA Champion, NBA Dunk Contest participant (2003)|
|Jason Terry||Milwaukee Bucks||1995–99||NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, NBA Champion (with Dallas Mavericks)|
|Jerryd Bayless||Philadelphia 76ers||2007–08|
|Solomon Hill||New Orleans Pelicans||2009–13|
|Aaron Gordon||Orlando Magic||2013–14||2x NBA Dunk Contest participant (2016 & 2017)|
|Stanley Johnson||Detroit Pistons||2014–15|
|Rondae Hollis-Jefferson||Brooklyn Nets||2013–15|
|T. J. McConnell||Philadelphia 76ers||2013–15|
|Lauri Markkanen||Chicago Bulls||2016–17|
|Kadeem Allen||Boston Celtics||2014–17|
|Kobi Simmons||Memphis Grizzlies||2016–17|
|Deandre Ayton||Phoenix Suns||2017–18||First Arizona Wildcat to be selected 1st overall|
|Rawle Alkins||Chicago Bulls||2016–18|
|Allonzo Trier||New York Knicks||2015–18|
Current NBA G League players
|Name||NBA team||Seasons as Wildcat||Post-Wildcat accomplishment|
|Nick Johnson||Austin Spurs||2011-14|
|Brandon Ashley||Texas Legends||2012-15|
|Grant Jerrett||Canton Charge||2012-13|
Source: Arizona 2017-18 Media Guide
Current non-NBA professional players
- Gabe York – Medi Bayreuth (Germany)
- Ryan Anderson – BC Pieno žvaigždės (Lithuania)
- Kaleb Tarczewski – EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (Italy)
- Mark Lyons – BC Enisey (Russia)
- Kyle Fogg – Guangzhou Long-Lions (China)
- Mark Tollefsen – Maccabi Rishon LeZion (Israel)
All time non-NBA professional players
NBA Draft history
12 different NBA Championships have been won by 10 Wildcats players. Since the NBA draft was shortened to two rounds in 1989, 41 Arizona players have been selected. Former Wildcats have had successful NBA careers, totaling $1.25 billion in total contracts through the 2016–2017 NBA season
Source: Arizona 2017–18 Media Guide )
|Wildcats in the NBA|
|NBA Draft Selections|
|Lottery Picks in Draft:||17|
|No. 1 Picks:||1|
|Olympic Gold Medal Winners:||2 (Wood '84, Iguodala '12)|
|NBA Champions:||10 players a total of 23 times, 2 Coaches a total of 2 times|
Current coaches in NBA
- Steve Kerr, Head Coach, Golden State Warriors
- Luke Walton, Head Coach, Los Angeles Lakers
- Bret Brielemaier, Assistant Coach, Brooklyn Nets
- Jud Buechler, Assistant Coach, New York Knicks
- Bruce Fraser, Assistant coach, Golden State Warriors
- Miles Simon, Assistant Coach, Los Angeles Lakers
- Jesse Mermuys, Assistant Coach, Los Angeles Lakers
Current coaches in NBA G League
- Matt Brase, Head Coach, Rio Grande Valley
- Isiah Fox, Assistant Coach, South Bay
- Joseph Blair, Assistant Coach, Rio Grande Valley
Current management in NBA
Wildcats with NBA Championships
A Total of 23 NBA championships have been won by 10 former Wildcats, consisting of 12 different finals years (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018). 7 of the last 10 championship teams have had a former Wildcat as a player and/or coaching staff member on the team.
Former Wildcats have played in 12 of the last 20 finals.
|Player (College Years)||Finals Year||Team|
|Steve Kerr (1983–88)|
|Andre Iguodala (2002–04)|
|Luke Walton (1999-03)|
|Richard Jefferson (1998-01)|
|Jud Buechler (1986–90)|
Chicago Bulls (3)
|Channing Frye (2001–05)|
|Jason Terry (1995–99)|
|Bison Dele (1988–91)|
|Sean Elliott (1984–89)|
|Derrick Williams (2009-11)|
|Mike Bibby (1996-98)|
|Ben Davis (1994-96)|
|Al Fleming (1972-76)|
|Coach (College Years)||Finals Year||Team|
|Steve Kerr (1983–88)|
|Bruce Fraser (1984-87)|
|Luke Walton (1999-03)|
|Bret Brielmaier (2004-08)|
Current Arizona Wildcats college coaches
- Josh Pastner, Head Coach, Georgia Tech Yellowjackets
- Damon Stoudamire, Head Coach, Pacific Tigers
- Jason Gardner, Head Coach, IUPUI Jaguars
Wildcats in the Olympics
The following Arizona Wildcats men's basketball players have represented their country in basketball in the Summer Olympics:
Honors, awards, and accomplishments
The individual honors, awards, and accomplishments listed in the succeeding subsections are aggregated by player in the following table. Players with only all-conference honors (other than conference player of the year), lower than first-team All-America honors, or later than second-round draft positions are not included.
Source: Arizona 2018-19 Media Guide
National honors and awards (Players)
NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player
Frank Hessler Award
Julius Erving Award
Karl Malone Award
Conference honors and awards (players)
Conference tournament most valuable player
- 1988: Sean Elliott
- 1989: Sean Elliott
- 1990: Jud Buechler/Matt Muehlebach
- 2002: Luke Walton
- 2005: Salim Stoudamire
- 2015: Brandon Ashley
- 2017: Allonzo Trier
- 2018: Deandre Ayton
Arizona has had 30 All-Americans, 8 of which have been Consensus First-Team.
Fourteen Arizona players have received AP All-America honorable mention:
The following 24 McDonald's All-Americans listed below have signed with Arizona.
An asterisk, "*", Indicates player did not finish his college career at Arizona. A cross, "†", indicates player did not begin his college career at Arizona.
The following is a list of Arizona Wildcats men's basketball players that were named first, second or third team All-Pac-12:
First team All-Pac-12
Note ‡ indicates player was Pac-12 Player of the Year
† indicates player was Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year
Second team All-Pac-12
Second team was only awarded from the '77–79' & starting again in the 2007 season.
Third team All-Pac-12
Pac-12 3rd team was only given during the 2007–2008 season.
Pac-12 All Freshman Team
Pac-12 All Newcomer
Pac-12 All-Defensive Team
Pac-12 All-Academic Team
Wildcats in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Coaching honors and awards (Coaches)
To have his number retired, a player must win one of the following six widely recognized player of the year awards:
Regular season conference championships
Though the automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament is given to the conference tournament winner, the Pac–12 declares the team with the best record in the regular season the "official" conference champion.
Pac-10/12 Tournament results
UA has won the Pac-10/12 Tournament a record seven times, including three straight times from 1988–90. The Wildcats have played in the tournament final a record eleven times. UA also has a record 8 tournament MVP's. Salim Stoudamire is 1 of only 2 players to win the MVP from a losing squad.
NCAA Tournament results
The University of Arizona has made 35th NCAA Tournament appearances (two other appearances in 1999 and 2008 were later vacated by the NCAA, 35 total), beginning with the first in 1951 and were the National Champions in 1997. 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. Their combined record is 56–33 (.629), including one national championship (1997) and 4 Final Fours (1988, 1994, 1997, 2001). Arizona is also one of only seven #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. In addition, the 1997 Arizona team is the only team to date to beat three #1 seeds to win the national championship. They have currently made the tournament 6 straight seasons.
National championship results
Final Fours results
The Arizona Wildcats have been to four Final Fours, which is tied for 21st all time among Division I schools.