[ezcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]
No. 4 is usually a uniform number designated for guards because of its single digit, but it literally has played big in Arizona Wildcats history.
Pound for pound, the biggest player in terms of production in Arizona Wildcats history is Leo Johnson. Never heard of him?
Johnson, a Safford legend who passed away last year at age 83, was a guard for coach Fred Enke who held the Arizona Wildcats’ single-season rebounding record (373 in 1950-51) for 58 years until post player Jordan Hill compiled 375 in 2008-09.
Johnson averaged 12.5 rebounds as senior in 1950-51, when Enke’s team finished 24-6 and won its sixth consecutive Border Conference title. Enke assigned Johnson to guard talented Long Island University power forward Sherman White when Arizona upset the nationally-prominent Blackbirds 61-60 at Bear Down Gym on Jan. 29, 1951.
Johnson’s quickness limited White to 14 points until White fouled out with 8:15 remaining. The Blackbirds led by as many as 18 points but faltered after White drew his fifth foul. It was the Arizona Wildcats’ 73rd straight win at Bear Down. Long Island coach Clair Bee blamed the refs for the outcome.
“You will never get good teams to come to Tucson because of this condition,” Bee told the Associated Press. “If I had the best team in the nation, I couldn’t beat Arizona on this floor in Tucson.”
[ezcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]
One has to wonder if it was not only Johnson’s defense that kept White obsolete that night.
Less than a month after losing to Arizona, White, who averaged 27.7 points a game and was the Sporting News National Player of the Year that season, was arrested for being part of a legendary point-shaving scandal at LIU.
He was sent to jail and was prevented from being the No. 1 pick overall in the NBA draft. White was banned from playing in the NBA because of the incident.
Back to Arizona history: The No. 4 jersey number includes another player who played big all over the court — Luke Walton — and on the frontcourt — Ben Davis.
Walton is one of six Arizona Wildcats who have recorded a triple-double. He had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists against USC in 2002.
Davis is one of a handful of players who led Arizona in scoring and rebounding in one season. He posted 14.2 points and 9.5 rebounds a game as a senior in 1995-96.
No other player has more rebounds in a Pac-10 season than Davis. He pulled down 200 in 1995-96.
Arizona junior guard T.J. McConnell is the latest to wear No. 4 for the Wildcats. Judging from his performance against Augustana last week — eight assists and no turnovers — McConnell is off to something promising for Arizona’s program.
“I don’t think that I’ve had a point guard dominate the practice stats like T.J. has through the first 22 or 23 practices we’ve had,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said in his postgame press conference. “He’s doing it every day. … On offense, you can see he makes his teammates better. Defensively, he can really pressure the ball and steal it.”
Countdown to Tip-off Blogs:
— Leon Blevins, Jawann McClellan team captains who impacted Arizona Wildcats different ways
— Steve Rivera produces another book about Arizona Wildcats basketball
— Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller featured on Seth Davis Show
— Arizona Wildcats basketball: Top-5 memorable Elite Eight games
— Twitter feed reads on Day No. 9 of countdown to tip off
— Arizona Wildcats’ career assist record an unassailable mark
— 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