Arizona basketball was built on consistency and stability under legendary coach Lute Olson. Arizona went an astonishing 587-190 (.755) over the course of 24 seasons with players that would become not only pros but legends on the college hardwood.
Fast-forward to today, Arizona has remained a symbol of consistency under coach Sean Miller, who has led the Wildcats for the past 11 seasons. This past decade (2010-2019), Arizona went a remarkable 248-74 (.771). During his tenure as head coach, Miller has instilled the phrase ‘A Player’s Program,’ combining past, present, and future players in one core value.
So, if you put together an All-Decade Team, what would it look like?
How would you go about putting together such a team?
Those are the questions that can be tough to answer, or even debate between other people because everyone has different things they look for in such a team. We as a staff decided to let you, the fans, determine Arizona’s All-Decade Team ranking from 2010 to 2019.
The voting process took place on social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to gather the fans’ perspective. Here is your All-Decade Team voted by you, the fans.
Point Guard: T.J. McConnell (2013-2015)
This was a position that wasn’t even close when it came to the fan vote; the second-place point guard was Parker Jackson-Cartwright, who gathered a total of just eight votes.
While at Arizona, T.J. McConnell was a focal point to back-to-back Elite Eight teams. He finished his Arizona career as a two-time All-Conference Team player and was a two-time All-Conference Defensive Team player.
Shooting Guard: Nick Johnson (2011-2014)
The past decade Arizona has had a variety of talented shooting guards but, there hasn’t been a better two-way player at that the shooting guard position then Nick Johnson. Just like the point guard position above, this wasn’t very close in terms of the fan’s vote. The second-place finisher was Allonzo Trier with 28-votes.
While at Arizona, Johnson saw his career blossom, getting better every season, seeing his scoring average go from 8.9 ppg his freshman year to 16.3 ppg his junior year. He would leave Arizona highly-decorated, racking up awards such as; PAC-12 All-Freshman Team (2012), All-Conference Defensive Team, first-team All-Conference (2014), PAC-12 Player of the Year (2014), and consensus first-team All-American (2014).
Small Forward: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (2013-2015)
The voting wasn’t really close, however Solomon Hill finished second with a total of 68 votes.
During his time at Arizona, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was a critical part of back-to-back Elite Eight teams. Hollis-Jefferson established himself as one of the most feared not only in the PAC-12 but in the nation. He finished his Arizona career collecting these awards; PAC-12 All-Freshman Team (2014), All-Conference Defensive Team (2015), and first-team All-Conference (2015).
Power Forward: Derrick Williams (2010-2011)
Derrick Williams was the premier player on the roster that got Arizona back in the national spotlight during their journey to the Elite Eight. So, as you can imagine, Williams is a fan favorite, and it showed in the polls. However, the second-place finisher was freshman sensation Lauri Markkanen getting 49 votes.
While at Arizona, Williams dominated the PAC-10 leading his team to the regular season PAC-10 crown. He would finish his collegiate career winning these awards; PAC-10 Freshman of the Year (2010), first-team All-Conference (2010, 2011), and PAC-10 Player of the Year(2011).
Center: Deandre Ayton (2017-2018)
Coming out of high school Deandre Ayton was one of the most sought after players in his recruiting class. Arizona landed Ayton, making him the highest-rated recruit in program history. Now, some of the time, the hype doesn’t live up to the expectations. This wasn’t the case for Ayton as he dominated, averaging a double-double leading the Wildcats to another PAC-12 Title. While at Arizona, he racked up these awards; first-team All-Conference (2018), PAC-12 Freshman of the Year (2018), PAC-12 Player of the Year (2018), PAC-12 tournament M.V.P. (2018), Karl Malone Award (2018), and consensus first-team All-American (2018).
Bench Players: Sixth Men
Sixth Man: Solomon Hill (2010-2013)
Sixth Man: Aaron Gordon (2013-2014)
Well, another decade has passed, and Arizona remains one of the most successful programs in the country. The only thing holding Arizona back is another national title that they have been seeking since 1997. But who knows what’s in store for the next decade of Arizona basketball? Only time will tell.