Dusan Ristic becomes the All-Time Winningest Player in Arizona Basketball history

TUCSON, AZ - JANUARY 27: Dusan Ristic
TUCSON, AZ - JANUARY 27: Dusan Ristic /

After the Arizona Basketball 75-67 win over the Stanford Cardinals, Dusan Ristic became the all-time winningest player in Wildcat basketball history with 111 wins.

Dussssssss! History was made at McKale Center on Thursday night. In his second to last home game as an Arizona Wildcat, senior Dusan Ristic, from Novi Sad, Serbi, became the all-time winningest player in Wildcat program history with 111 wins. He surpasses Matt Muehlebach (who actually called the record-breaking win) and former Wildcat center Kaleb “Zeus” Tarczewski. 

It’s a very rare thing in college basketball to see someone stay four years. So to see someone stay four years and transform into a confident and highly skilled player is a special thing to witness.

Arizona Wildcats Basketball
Arizona Wildcats Basketball /

Arizona Wildcats Basketball

Many can remember that when Ristic first game to Arizona, he had a lot to improve upon on both ends of the floor. His English wasn’t very good either as a freshman, which is completely understandable. But wow, look how far he has come!

During his time at Arizona, Ristic has had the opportunity to play and practice with other bigs, Tarcewsizki and Deandre Ayton.  No better to work on your moves then against others your size.

Over the years, Ristic has added to his wide range of moves on in the inside: Jump hook with both hands, turn around fade away, baseline up and under, dunks and step-throughs. We can add a dribbling from one side of the court to the other, a spin move and ability to get an and-one call after the Stanford game. Miller reacted to that play after the game, “He’s proven me wrong so many times, I just let him [Dus] do what he wants now,” Miller said smiling.

Let’s not forget his three-point shooting touch. Ristic’s senior year, he is 50% from beyond the arc and over the course of four years, he has averaged 51.9%. This past season against Utah at home, he went 3-3. On his third three of the night, Ristic became the 52nd player in Wildcat history to score 1,000 points and the 28th to record 1,000 points and 500 rebounds as a Wildcat:

From his freshman to his senior season, Ristic has improved in every category. With that improvement, his sense of confidence has risen his senior season. He’s even dribbling the ball up the floor and shooting three-point shots like a guard! Ristic’s minutes and average points, steals and rebounds have increased each year as the big man always moved forward.

Per Game Table

Provided by CBB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 3/2/2018.

His teammates have fed off of that confidence this season and have been feeding him the ball in the paint on a more regular basis.  Ristic this year has also had the luxury of playing alongside Ayton. Each has been feeding each other the ball, making it that much harder to double team one of them. The passing ability of both Ristic and Ayton have been impressive.

As a result of all his hard work, year after year, Ristic earns the title of wins leader at Arizona:

Ristic shared his thoughts on his accomplishment during the press conference:

"“It means a lot as result of my hard. As a culture of this program. All the players have played with from my freshman year, through my senior. I am just privileged to accomplish something like this at this program.”"

Coach Sean Miller also had this to stay, during the press conference, on his senior’s historic record-breaking performance, “Really one of a kind. For him to do that on a night tonight really brought it together for us.”

After the win, Muehlebach shared what it meant to him to see Ristic break the record, “Such a great kid. Works hard. He was the first one out here working on his jump shot. You respect people who do that.”

Relive some of the special moments this past season of Dus:

Must Read: Arizona Basketball against the world, clinch share of Pac-12 title

At Zona Zealots, we would like to congratulate Dusan Ristic on becoming the all-time winningest player in Wildcat basketball history. To accomplish what he has accomplished for a legendary program says a lot about the type of player he has become. Dus, way to go! For you have set the bar really high when it comes to winning. Bear Down!