Arizona Basketball players and the team become part of our family; some things will never be the same.
Enough loathing and lamenting on what could have or should have had happened in the NCAA tournament for our Wildcats. At the time Zona lost, it seemed impossible, how could they have lost? But then, Michigan State went down in the first round, Cal went down, so did West Virginia, Texas, Baylor, and on and on and on. Things feel a little better 24 hours later? We sure hope so.
We asked Wildcats fans what they will miss the most from this 2015-16 season, and we worked their answers into ours. Overwhelming season highlights mentioned were the Cal revenge win at home, beating ASU twice, and raining three’s senior day.
Let’s review the high points of the seniors 2015-16 season to wrap it up and put a bow on it.
Gabe Yorks Three’s
Ahh, there is nothing like the feeling of a Gabe York three-pointer swishing through the net. Channeling Steph Curry at times, it seemed that he made shots that were the most difficult to make and when the chips were down. Just picture all the Wildcats fans crossing their fingers, or holding their friends hands, or knees when the ball was hurled in the air.
More from Zona Zealots
When the shot went in, we all jumped up and put our arms in the air mimicking the referee giving the three signal and gave a high-five to anyone who would accept. Playing against Stanford Gabe scored nine three-pointers, a few from well beyond the arc. That performance, as well as his play in the Cal game that same week, earned him Pac-12 Player of the Week honors. York tied Salim Stoudamire‘s made three-pointer game record.
Gabe Yorks college career stats include 229 three-pointers, 150 field goals, 191 assists, 72 steals and 276 rebounds.
York tied for eleventh place on the all-time three-point record list. Here is a look back at the Senior day win against Stanford and Gabe’s nine three-pointers.
Jacob Hazzard’s Three’s
What could be better than Yorks three-pointers? A Jacob Hazzard three-pointer. When Jacob got into a game, the crowd went nuts; they knew that he would be shooting and making three-pointers. He made 23 of them in his college career.
Hazzard is the player who kept the rest of the team pumped up, ready to play, and always had a shoulder for his teammates if needed. There isn’t a soul who doesn’t respect Jacob. His contributions were not always clear in games, but he accepted his role and performed it to a ‘T.’
Hazzard hit three three-pointers in the Stanford game, contributing to the Cats total three-pointers (18) breaking a record.
Wildcats fans adore Jacob Hazzard, class act.
Zeus’s Monster Blocks and Slam Dunks
We will miss our seven-foot center who earned Pac-12 All-Second Team and All-Defensive team honors. If not for his foot injury early in the season, he surely would’ve been on more awards lists.
Zeus also became either the most winningest Wildcat of all time or tied Matt Muehlebach with win number 110 against Colorado in the Pac-12 tournament. Miller mentioned a couple of occasions this week that Muehlebach is challenging his record, stating he earned one more win that is recorded in the books. Yes, really!
Right up there with Gabe’s three’s is Kaleb ‘Zeus’ Tarczewski’s Slam Dunks. He made his 100th slam dunk on Valentines Day against Washington. Aaron Gordon had a signature behind the back two-handed dunk. Derrick Williams has a one-hand jam that gets fans out of their seats. Kaleb? It’s a two-handed stuff from any part of the basket, both knees up to his waist.
Throw it down big fella!
Kaleb’s college career stats include 117 blocks, 355 free-throws, 415 field goals, 63 assists, 39 steals, and 879 rebounds. Here are Zeus’s college career highlights:
Anderson’s rebounds and double-doubles
We waited an entire year to be able to cheer on Ryan Anderson in an Arizona uniform, and it was worth the wait. Anderson had so many double-doubles, it was hard to keep track of them. Sometimes the only player who could get the team going, Anderson was exciting to watch and will be a Wildcat forever.
Anderson was clutch at key times on the inside; slam dunks were a common occurrence when he was playing. Someone who is very hard on himself, and humble, he brought a much needed solid defense in rebounding to the Wildcats.
Ryan played hurt, and he never gave up, he silently racked up stats and earned himself a place on the Pac-12 All-first team. Ryan was the only senior to make this list, and if you review the list of players, he is in great company.
Ryan’s highlights from the season and his only year on the Arizona Wildcats team is quite impressive and full of stuffs.
Tolley’s last minute heroics in Oregon game
Mark ‘Tolly’ Tollefsen was with us for just one year, already a college graduate, he only had an online class to finish before he embarked on helping the Wildcats get back to the dance.
And that he did. There were some games where Mark made crucial contributions, but the game we will never forget was actually the loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 tournament. Without his heroics, there wouldn’t have been an overtime. Just one more free-throw and the game was won.
Here is a replay of that Oregon match-up in Vegas. Note: The last 30 seconds of the game starts at the 2:00 mark.
This Team’s Bench Celebrations
The Wildcats bench wasn’t necessarily as creative as the Monmouth, but it was a joy to watch. Hopefully next season will be full of celebratory Wildcats supporting their teammates on the court.
Enjoy the 2015-16 season senior photo collage we put together.
And…the Ugly…Yes, we had to include it, was part of the season, and yes, they love each other!