Arizona Basketball

Arizona’s strong guard play synonymous with each season of No. 1 ranking

Kylan Boswell is the sixth starting point guard leading a No. 1-ranked team at Arizona (Arizona Athletics photo)

About this time 36 years ago, the legendary Steve Kerr was Lute Olson’s point guard leading Arizona’s first team to reach No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll.

Arizona is at that spot once again after a 10-year hiatus with Kylan Boswell leading Tommy Lloyd’s execution at the point.

It was revealed Monday that the Wildcats (7-0) are ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25 Poll receiving 59 of the 63 potential first-place votes.

The point guards who were part of Arizona No. 1-ranked teams include Kerr, Kenny Lofton (1988-89), Mike Bibby (1997-98), Jason Gardner (1999-2000 and 2002-03), TJ McConnell (2013-14) and Boswell.

The top-ranked teams also featured All-Americans such as Sean Elliott in 1987-88 and 1988-89, Bibby and Miles Simon in 1997-98, Gardner in 2002-03, and Nick Johnson in 2013-14.

Look at the quality backcourts of the teams that have reached No. 1:

1987-88: Kerr and Craig McMillan

1988-89: Lofton and Muehlebach

1997-98: Bibby and Simon

1999-2000: Gardner and Gilbert Arenas

2002-03: Gardner and Salim Stoudamire

2013-14: McConnell and Johnson

2023-24: Boswell and Caleb Love

This year’s team needs to be ranked another 13 weeks to have the distinction of being No. 1 longest.

The 2002-03 was No. 1 for 13 weeks. That team that included Gardner, Stoudamire, Luke Walton, Rick Anderson, Channing Frye, Andre Iguodala and Hassan Adams.

Gardner is now Arizona’s player relations director for Lloyd.

The point guard from Indianapolis experienced No. 1 when he was a freshman and a senior … and now as a staff member.


Seasons that Arizona was ranked No. 1 with number weeks at No. 1, top rotation (players who averaged more than 10 minutes per game) and the head coach.
1987-19886G Steve KerrLute Olson
G Craig McMillanFinish
F Sean Elliott35-3
F Anthony CookFinal Four
F Tom Tolbert
G Kenny Lofton
F Joe Turner
F Jud Buechler
1988-19893G Kenny LoftonLute Olson
G Matt MuehlebachFinish
F Sean Elliott29-4
F Anthony CookSweet 16
F Jud Buechler
C Sean Rooks
G Harvey Mason
G Matt Othick
1997-19983G Mike BibbyLute Olson
G Miles SimonFinish
F Michael Dickerson30-5
F Bennett DavisonElite 8
C AJ Bramlett
G Jason Terry
F Eugene Edgerson
F Donnell Harris
1999-20003G Jason GardnerLute Olson
G Gilbert ArenasFinish
F Michael Wright27-7
F Luke Walton2nd Round
C Loren Woods
F Richard Jefferson
F Justin Wessel
F Rick Anderson
G Lamont Frazier
2002-200313G Jason GardnerLute Olson
G Salim StoudamireFinish
F Luke Walton28-4
F Rick AndersonElite 8
C Channing Frye
G Andre Iguodala
G Hassan Adams
F Isaiah Fox
2013-20148G TJ McConnellSean Miller
G Nick JohnsonFinish
F Aaron Gordon33-5
F Brandon AshleyElite 8
C Kaleb Tarczewski
F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
G Gabe York
2023-20241G Kylan BoswellTommy Lloyd
G Caleb LoveCurrent
F Keshad Johnson7-0
F Pelle Larsson
C Oumar Ballo
G Jaden Bradley
G KJ Lewis
C Motiejus Krivas
F Paulius Murauskas
F Filip Borvicanin

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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