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Arizona’s career assist record of 810 held by Russell Brown is one of those unassailable marks in the Wildcats’ record book.
It’s right up there with Coniel Norman’s career record of 23.9 points per game and Sean Elliott’s 2,555 career points. It’s also a safe bet that Elliott’s 892 career field goals made will last our lifetime and then some. Bob Elliott (no relation) is next at 808 and “Big Bird” was a low-post scorer like none other in UA history.
Steve Kerr’s 57.3 percent mark from three-point range (an incredible 114 of 190 attempts) can be etched in stone.
To put Brown’s assist record in perspective, he is 140 ahead of second-place Mustafa Shakur, who accumlated 670 from 2004-2007. Brown averaged 202.5 assists per season. The 200 mark for a season was only eclipsed four times since Brown’s last season, 33 years ago in 1981.
The Wildcats’ last three assists leaders were not point guards — Nick Johnson (112 assists) last year, Solomon Hill (91) in 2012 and Kyle Fogg (99) in 2011.
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Many collegiate career records will not be broken because of the high rate of early entry into the NBA draft.
Arizona’s starting point guard T.J. McConnell must average what he produced last night against Augustana — 8 assists — to reach Brown’s season record of 247 assists. Brown achieved that mark in 27 games in 1978-79. McConnell has 31 regular-season games in which he must average 7.9 assists to reach Brown.
Brown averaged an incredible 9.1 assists in 1978-79.
Even more astounding about Brown — he did not score more than 1,000 points in his four-year career. Brown, 5’10 and 170 pounds, scored only 702, averaging 6.6 points a game. Mike Bibby, who shared Brown’s No. 10 at Arizona, was a point guard who had 1,061 points in only two seasons before leaving early for the NBA.
Brown scored when it counted most, posting 18 points in one of the biggest upsets in UA history, a 70-69 victory over No. 4 UCLA at McKale Center in 1979. He also made one of the more memorable game-winning shots at McKale in 1981, following his own miss with five seconds left and drilling a short jumper at the buzzer to give Arizona a 68-66 win over Washington.
The UA’s jersey No. 10 is retired with Bibby’s name because of his consensus All-American status in 1997-98 and national freshman of the year honor in the season the Wildcats won the national title in 1996-97. But Brown’s contribution as the UA’s best pass-first point guard in history should not be overlooked.
Five times an Arizona guard has posted at least 15 assists in a game. Brown was that guard in each. He had a school-record 19 against Grand Canyon in 1979.
Bibby was an accomplished assist man too, amassing 374 in his two seasons. What set him apart is his basketball smarts, clutch shooting and defense. He holds the school record of 87 steals in a season despite not being fleet of foot. He knew the opponent’s next move because of his basketball IQ.
Brock Brunkhorst is another No. 10 who deserves mention. He was Lute Olson’s captain for the Arizona team that advanced to the coach’s first NCAA tournament team with the Wildcats in 1985. Brunkhorst led the UA in assists three consecutive seasons, including his senior season when he set up Kerr, Pete Williams and Eddie Smith with 5.2 assists per game.
Countdown to Tip-off Blogs:
— Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller on freshman Aaron Gordon: Defense “deal-breaker” for wing spot
— No. 12 symbolizes success after hoops career for two Arizona Wildcats guards
— No. 13 not unlucky for couple of Arizona Wildcats standout guards
— No. 14 for Arizona Wildcats includes two pivotal players who revived program
— No. 15 embodies grit, determination and intelligence for Arizona Wildcats
— Ranking Arizona Wildcats’ top Sweet 16 victories
— Arizona Wildcats guard T.J. McConnell on Bob Cousy Award Watch List
— ASU’s Jahii Carson Arizona Wildcats’ top opposing player this season
— Mike Bibby, Tedy Bruschi spend day with Arizona Wildcats
— Arizona Wildcats guard Jordin Mayes sets sight on successful senior season with 20-20 vision
— Unsung players wore No. 21 proudly for Arizona Wildcats
— Jason Gardner’s No. 22 is retired but Coniel Norman and Ray Owes also wore number admirably for Arizona Wildcats
— Arizona Wildcats No. 23 players historic in different ways
— No. 24 in Arizona Wildcats history one for the statistical record books
— Steeeeeeeeve Kerrrrrrrr!!!!
— A look at the greatest takeaways from Arizona Wildcats’ Red-Blue Scrimmage
— A look at past, future today with Arizona Wildcats’ Red-Blue Scrimmage
— Arizona Wildcats’ Aaron Gordon vying to become third freshman to win Pac-12 player of year
— Ernie McCray did more than score for Arizona Wildcats
— Arizona Wildcats’ No. 31 not retired with Jason Terry’s name but should be
— No. 32 most storied jersey number in Arizona Wildcats history
— No. 33 in Arizona Wildcats history symbolic of hard work ethic, ideal role players
— Simon says: No. 34 special with two of Arizona Wildcats’ greatest wearing jersey number
— If Arizona Wildcats center Kaleb Tarczewski has field-goal percentage like Jud Buechler, UA will be fine
— Arizona Wildcats legend Sean Elliott scored career-high 36 points opposing Sean Miller
— Nick Johnson looks to improve perimeter shooting, limit turnovers
— Jordin Mayes hoping to return to shooting form earlier in Arizona Wildcats career
— 39 days and counting toward Arizona Wildcats’ season
— Joe Skaisgir best Arizona Wildcats basketball player you’ve never heard of
— Nick Johnson looks to improve FG percentage while Arizona Wildcats limit opponents
— Chris Mills, A.J. Bramlett reached Arizona Wildcats stardom via different paths, roles
— Jordan Hill climbed hill for notoriety while Ed Nymeyer lived up to hype with Arizona Wildcats
— Fantastic Four who wore No. 44: Jersey special for Arizona Wildcats program
— Two of Arizona Wildcats’ best centers — Sean Rooks and Channing Frye — donned No. 45
— Arizona Wildcats great Ernie McCray reminisces about his record-setting 46-point performance
— Arizona Wildcats star recruit should not be compared to Blake Griffin
— Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller on fast track to Pac-12 success
— Things you may not know about Arizona Wildcats point guard T.J. McConnell
— Arizona Wildcats will benefit from presence of Joseph Blair in practice
— Arizona Wildcats preparing for what could be memorable 2013-14 season