Top 10 Best Arizona Basketball Players

Top 10 Best Arizona Basketball Players

The 1997 NCAA Tournament champions, the Arizona Men’s Basketball Team has had some great teams and talented players over the years. From the 1970s all the way up until the present day, those incredible players have entertained generations of fans and created some memorable moments and records. The remainder of this piece will discuss the top 10 players in Arizona history in greater detail.

Who Are the Best Arizona College Basketball Players of All Time?

  1. Sean Elliot
  2. Jason Gardner
  3. Salim Stoudamire
  4. Damon Stoudamire
  5. Bob Elliot
  6. Hassan Adams
  7. Al Fleming
  8. Khalid Reeves
  9. Channing Frye
  10. Jason Terry

1. Sean Elliot

  • Arizona’s all-time leading scorer (2,555 points)
  • Second-most minutes played in school history (4,499)
  • Most free throws made in school history (623)

While plenty of players deserve the honor, Sean Elliot deserves the title of the greatest men’s basketball player of all time for Arizona. Elliot is the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,555 career points scored, one of two players in Arizona history with 2,000+ points. He also holds the record for most free throws made (623) and most field goals made (896), as well as playing the second-most minutes, with 4,499. He even managed to crack the top 10 in total rebounds, with 808. As for awards, Elliot was the 1989 National Player of the Year, a two-time All-American, and a two-time Pacific Ten Conference (Pac-10) Player of the Year. In the NCAA Tournament, Elliot led the Wildcats to their first Final Four in school history in 1988. 

2. Jason Gardner

  • Arizona’s school record for minutes played (4,825)
  • Third-most points in school history (1,984)
  • Third-most steals in school history (225)

One of the greatest two-way players in Arizona basketball history, Jason Gardner claims the number two spot on this list. Gardner was a terrific scorer, racking up the third-most points in school history, with 1,984. In terms of minutes played, Gardner is number one with 4,825. Moreover, he was an outstanding defender, racking up 225 steals in his four seasons, good enough for third on the all-time list. His 318 three-pointers made are the second-most in Wildcat history as well. In terms of recognition, Gardner was an All-American in 2002 and was a three-time All-Pac 10 player. Lastly, he had great success in the NCAA Tournament, leading the team to two Elite Eights and leading them all the way to the 2001 title game, which they ultimately lost to Duke.

3. Salim Stoudamire

  • Most three-pointers made in school history (342)
  • Fourth-most points scored in school history (1,960)
  • Highest free throw percentage in school history (87%)

The next player here, Salim Stoudamire, is one of the greatest three-point shooters in college basketball history. At Arizona, Stoudamire holds the record for three-pointers made (342), three-point field goal percentage (45.8%), and free throw percentage (87%). All of that shooting led to Salim scoring the fourth-most points in program history at 1,960. His 3,848 minutes played also rank in the top 10 for the Wildcats. In 2005, Stoudamire was named an All-American and made the All-Pac-12 team after he was the Pac-12 freshman of the year in 2002. In the Big Dance, Stoudamire’s teams made it to the Elite Eight on two occasions, in 2003 (alongside Jason Gardner) and in 2005.

4. Damon Stoudamire

  • Third-most assists at Arizona (663)
  • Sixth-most points at Arizona (1,849)
  • Eighth-most steals at Arizona (174)

The cousin of Salim, Damon Stoudamire comes in at number four on this list. Damon was an outstanding point guard for the Wildcats, registering the third-most assists in school history with 663 and the eighth-most steals with 174. He also was able to put the ball in the basket, racking up the sixth most points in school history with 1,849. Stoudamire did so in part by making 272 three-pointers, the third-highest total ever at Arizona. A three-time All-Pac 12 member and a 1995 All-American, Damon earned national recognition for his amazing play. Lastly, in the NCAA Tournament, Damon led the Wildcats to their second Final Four in school history in 1994.

5. Bob Elliot

  • Second all-time leading scorer at Arizona (2,131 points)
  • Second-most field goals made (808)
  • Second-most rebounds (1,083)

The first player in Arizona history to reach 2,000 career points, Bob Elliot rounds out the first half of this list. Elliot’s 2,131 points were a school record when he finished his career in 1977, although he currently sits in second after Sean Elliot passed him in the late 1980s. Bob scored both from the field and the free throw line, making 808 field goals (second-most) and 515 free throws (third-most). Elliot was also one of the best rebounders ever at Arizona, grabbing 1,083 boards. His scoring prowess led him to being named an All-American in 1977 and a three-time all-WAC Conference player. In the NCAA Tournament, Elliot led the Wildcats to the Elite Eight in his junior season in 1976.

6. Hassan Adams

  • Second-most steals (238)
  • Seventh-most points (1,818)
  • Third-most field goals made (750)

An athletic guard for the Wildcats in the early 2000s, Hassan Adams kicks off the second half of this list. Adams’ 238 steals are the second-most in school history, as are his 319 offensive rebounds. His 750 made field goals are the third-most at Arizona, and they paved the way for 1,818 career points, ranking him seventh in program history. In the Pac-12, Adams was a member of the All-Freshman team in 2003 and the All-Conference team in 2006. Lastly, in the Big Dance, Hassan Adams led the Wildcats to the Elite Eight with Jason Gardner and Salim Stoudamire in 2003 and again with Stoudamire in 2005. 

7. Al Fleming

  • Arizona record for rebounds (1,190)
  • Fifth-most field goals made (688)
  • Tenth-most points in school history (1,765)

Arguably the best big man in Arizona history, Al Fleming takes the number seven spot on this list. Fleming’s 1,190 rebounds are the most ever at Arizona, despite him finishing his career there 47 years ago. Fleming also scored plenty of points during his career, making 688 field goals (fifth-most) and scoring 1,765 points (tenth-most). Those 1,765 points were also a school record when his career ended in 1976.  His career field goal percentage of 58.3% is the second-highest in Wildcat history. In the WAC Conference, Fleming was a two-time all-conference member. In 1976, Fleming and Bob Elliot led the team to their first Elite Eight in school history. 

8. Khalid Reeves

  • Fifth-most points scored (1,925)
  • Sixth-most steals (187)
  • Fourth-most free throws made (447)

Another terrific guard in a long line of great ones at Arizona, Khalid Reeves was great for Arizona in the early 1990s. Reeves’ 1,925 points rank fifth in school history, his 187 steals are the sixth-most, and his 447 made free throws are fourth for the Wildcats. His 646 field goals are also the seventh-most in Arizona. After his senior season in 1994, he was named an All-American and made the All-Pac-12 team. Lastly, in the NCAA Tournament, Reeves (and Damon Stoudamire) led the Wildcats on an Elite Eight run in 1994, as well as to the Sweet 16 during his freshman season.

9. Channing Frye

  • Third-most rebounds (975)
  • Second-most blocks (258)
  • Ninth-most points scored (1,789)

One of the better NBA players ever to come out of Arizona, Channing Frye is the penultimate player on this list. Frye’s inside presence was well known with the Wildcats, and he ended his career with the third-most rebounds (975) and the second-most blocks (258), marks he still holds today. He also scored plenty of points (1,789, to be exact), ranking ninth in program history. Frye’s 3,686 minutes are in the top 10 in school history as well. In terms of his awards, Frye was named to the All-Pac 12 freshman team in 2002 and was a two-time All-Pac-12 honoree. Finally, along with several other greats previously mentioned on this list, Frye played a huge role in leading the Wildcats to the Elite Eight in 2003 and 2005. 

10. Jason Terry

  • Arizona record for steals (245)
  • Eighth-most assists (493)
  • Sixth-most three-pointers made (192)

Another player who went on to have a great NBA career, Jason Terry rounds out this list. Terry is one of the best perimeter defenders in Arizona history, and his 245 steals are more than any other Wildcat has ever recorded. Additionally, his 493 assists are the eighth-most, and his 192 three-pointers made rank sixth all-time for the school. At the conclusion of his senior year in 1999, Terry made the All-Pac-10 team, was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year and was named an All-American. Two years earlier, in 1997, Terry was a member of the Wildcats 1997 NCAA Championship team.

Honorable Mentions

  • Mike Bibby
  • Russell Brown
  • Anthony Cook
  • Michael Dickerson
  • Kyle Fogg
  • Solomon Hill
  • Richard Jefferson
  • Mustafa Shakur
  • Kaleb Tarczewski
  • Derrick Williams


Who is the best Arizona men’s basketball player of all time?

While plenty of players deserve the title, Sean Elliot should be recognized as the greatest Arizona men’s basketball player of all time. Elliot holds the school record for a few categories, including points (2,555), free throws made (623), and field goals made (896). He also currently sits in tenth place in total rebounds (808) and second place in career minutes played (4,499). In 1988, he led the Wildcats to their first Final Four in school history.