Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats Point Guard U. member Geary on McConnell: “Competent, tough-minded floor leader”



Reggie Geary is coaching the Chiba Jets in Japan to a potential playoff berth in only their second season in the country's biggest professional league (Chiba Jets photo)

Former Arizona Wildcats point guard Reggie Geary is coaching the Chiba Jets in Japan to a potential playoff berth in only their second season in the country’s biggest professional league (Chiba Jets photo)

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Reggie Geary, like during his Arizona days, is all smiles these days (Chiba Jets photo)

Reggie Geary, like during his Arizona days, is all smiles these days (Chiba Jets photo)

Reggie Geary certainly belongs in the same sentence as Arizona Wildcats point guard greats and is a veritable alumni of Point Guard U.

One of the best defenders who has worn the Arizona uniform, Geary was also one of the best distributors on the offensive end. He ranks No. 2 in season assists in the Wildcat record book. Chances are Geary will be No. 3 after Arizona’s Sweet 16 game against Xavier with senior T.J. McConnell only three behind him.

Russell Brown holds the record of 247 set in 1978-79, followed by Geary’s 231 in 1995-96 and McConnell’s 228 this season.

Geary, in his fourth season as a professional head coach in Japan, sees some of the competitive fire from McConnell that he displayed with Arizona from 1992-96.

“I haven’t watch as much of the Cats as I would like living over here, but having spent a little time watching T.J. play and talking with him this summer, I’m not surprised with the impact he’s made in the short time he’s been in Tucson,” Geary messaged me today from Japan, where he is coaching the Chiba Jets of National Basketball League there.

“He’s a confident, competent, tough minded floor leader I took a quick liking to. He plays with a confidence that will serve him well in the coming weeks and in the future. I believe he’s a good representation of the Wildcat program past and present.”

McConnell is in his second and final year with the Wildcats after transferring from Duquesne. He has blossomed into a potential All-American and Bob Cousy Award winner after sitting out the 2012-13 season.

Geary also waited for his opportunity with the Wildcats playing behind current assistant coach Damon Stoudamire at point guard until his senior season of 1995-96 season. When Arizona went to the Final Four in 1994, Geary took on a similar role to Rondae Hollis-Jefferson as an important defensive contributor on the perimeter.


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1. T.J. McConnell (2014-present) 3.12 (430/138)
2. Steve Kerr (1984-88) 2.64 (443/168)
3. Matt Muehlebach (1988-91) 2.20 (458/208)
4. Matt Othick (1989-92) 2.18 (552/253)
5. Mike Bibby (1997-98) 2.12 (377/178)


1. Russell Brown (1978-79) 247
2. Reggie Geary (1995-96) 231
3. T.J. McConnell (2014-15) 228
4. Damon Stoudamire (1994-95) 220
5. Mustafa Shakur (2006-07) 215


1. Mike Bibby (1997-98) 87
2. Jason Terry (1996-97) 85
3. Hassan Adams (2005-06) 82
4. Jason Terry (1998-99) 80
4. T.J. McConnell (2014-15) 80


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In his senior season, Geary became much like McConnell is today, an efficient point guard on both ends. When Arizona beat Iowa soundly 87-73 in the second round of the NCAA tournament in 1996, Lute Olson showed mock surprise when looking at the stat sheet.

“Reggie Geary had 13 assists and one turnover?” Olson said. “That’s unbelievable.”

Olson then turned to Geary, who was sitting next to Olson in the postgame news conference. “Reggie, I didn’t know you could handle the ball that well.”

Geary also scored 16 points in that game against Iowa. His impeccable assist-to-turnover ratio was magnified by the fact Iowa used a full-court pressure defense for 40 minutes under Tom Davis.


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Geary’s leadership qualities are exemplified in how he’s making Chiba a winning organization in only its second year in Japan’s top professional league. The Jets’ record is 27-15. With a win tomorrow against Toshiba, Geary’s team will clinch a playoff spot.

“We’re feeling good about our chances in the second season if we stay healthy and keep improving,” stated Geary, who coached the Yokohoma B-Corsairs to a championship two years ago before moving to Chiba.

Chiba has two former St. John’s standouts on the roster — Justin Burrell and Paris Horne.

Arizona’s Jamelle Horne also plays in Japan in a different professional league, for the Toyoma Grouses. He averages 12.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in 43 games for Toyoma, which is 31-13.

Geary and his family — wife Candace and sons Quincy and Wesley — reside in Japan when he is coaching there. Quincy and Wesley recently had a photo opportunity with Jay Z at an airport in Japan: publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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