2015-16 Countdown

Arizona Wildcats hoops countdown slideshow: We’re at 20 days and counting to tipoff


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With freshman small forward Ray Smith reportedly out for the season with a right torn ACL, we look back on some of the more significant injuries of the Arizona basketball program:

Jim Rappis injures his left heel with 5:57 left in the first half in the 1976 West Regional Semifinal — one of the most thrilling games in UA history when the Wildcats beat Jerry Tarkanian and UNLV 114-109 in overtime — but continues to play despite being hobbled throughout. He finishes with 24 points and 12 assists against the Running Rebels. His 12 assists were more than what UNLV produced as a team. His injury limits him to only four points against UCLA in the West Regional Final, lost by the Wildcats 82-66 at Pauley Pavilion.

Steve Kerr tears the MCL and ACL in his right knee playing for the U.S. team in the 1986 World Championships in Madrid, forcing him to miss the entire 1986-87 season. The Wildcats finished 18-12 that season and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament at McKale against UTEP. He returns the following season to lead the Wildcats to their first Final Four trip.

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Richard Jefferson misses 13 games in the 1999-2000 season as a sophomore after fracturing the fifth metatarsal in his right foot three minutes into a game at Stanford on Jan. 8, 2000. He returned a week before the NCAA tournament. Arizona went 27-7 and lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament against Wisconsin.

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Loren Woods misses the last eight games of that season, including the loss to Wisconsin, because of a back injury. Woods’ lower back injury kept him out of seven games in 2000-01, the season in which Arizona advanced to the NCAA title game when it lost to Duke.

Gilbert Arenas’ injured right shoulder, suffered against Michigan State in the Final Four in 2001, affected his performance against Duke (shooting 4-of-17 from the field).

Luke Walton misses four games because of an ankle sprain in 2002-03, a season in which Arizona was ranked No. 1 three separate times and lost in the Elite Eight against Kansas.

Nic Wise misses four weeks in the 2007-08 season after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery for a torn left meniscus. The Wildcats went 19-15 that season under interim coach Kevin O’Neill and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament against West Virginia.

Kevin Parrom misses the first month of his freshman season of 2009-10 with a stress fracture. He misses four games late in the season with the same injury. The Wildcats finish 16-15 and out of the NCAA tournament for the first time in 25 years.

— Parrom suffers a broken right foot as a junior on Jan. 28, 2012, and misses the remainder of the 2011-12 season. The Wildcats finish 23-12 with an opening-round loss at home in the NIT against Bucknell.

Brandon Ashley suffers a broken right foot two minutes into the game at Cal two seasons ago and was out for the remainder of the season. The Wildcats were 21-0 overall and 8-0 in the Pac-12 entering that game. They finished with an Elite Eight appearance at 33-5 overall (15-3 Pac-12).

Ray Smith reportedly tears his right ACL in practice this week and is lost for the season. It’s the second time in consecutive years that Smith has suffered the injury with last year’s case involving his left knee.




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