They say records are meant to be broken, but when it comes to Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball, there are some that are likely to stand the test of time.
Here’s a look at five of them. Let us know if there are any others you think are safe.
Sean Elliott’s all-time scoring record (2,555)
The 6-foot-8 Tucsonan dropped 2,555 points in four seasons (1985-89) at Arizona, 424 more than the next Wildcat (Bob Elliott).
To do that, Sean averaged 19.2 points per game, the third-most in school history, and hoisted 1,750 shots, 238 more than the next Wildcat (also Bob Elliott). All while posting a super efficient shooting line of .512/.428/.793.
Still, the main reason Sean’s scoring record will never be broken is because players of his caliber don’t stay in school for four years anymore.
None of Arizona’s top 10 scorers of all-time played for the Wildcats after 2005, even though they have produced nine first-round picks since then—not including Nico Mannion, Josh Green and Zeke Nnaji.
Steve Kerr’s career 3-point field goal percentage (.571)
It’s a shame Kerr only played one college season with a 3-point line because he would be known as the best 3-point marksman ever if he had more time.
Kerr shot 114 for 199 from 3-point land in 1987-88, a staggering 57.1 percent conversion rate. Arizona’s second-best 3-point shooter of all-time with a minimum of 100 attempts? The great Salim Stoudamire, who made 45.8 percent of his triples.
Some UA players have come close to breaking Kerr’s mark in a single season, like Derrick Williams, who shot 56.8 percent from 3 in 2010-11, but he only made 42 treys.
No one will match Kerr’s proficiency and volume.
The 1950-51 team’s average rebounding margin (+19.3) and best single-game rebounding margin and total (+84, 102)
No other Arizona team has even averaged a +10 rebounding margin before, so the 1950-51 team’s +19.3 margin will stand forever unless the Wildcats manage to land five Deandre Aytons in the same recruiting cycle.
Even then, it probably wouldn’t be enough. The 1950-51 squad, which was led by Leo Johnson and became the first UA team to reach the NCAA Tournament, once outrebounded NAU 102-18. Not a typo.
Russell Brown’s all-time assist record (810)
Brown averaged 7.6 assists per game across four seasons (1977-1981), giving him 810 for his career, a record that, like Elliott’s, is unbreakable because players of his caliber don’t stay in college for four years anymore.
And even if they did, they’d still have trouble usurping Brown, who once dished out 19, 17, and 15 assists in a game, the best performances in program history.
Brown’s 810 career assists are 140 more than Mustafa Shakur, who is second all-time in Arizona history and was a four-year starter.
Jason Gardner’s career minutes (4,825)
What happens when you hold Arizona’s all-time records in games started (135) and average minutes per game (35.5)? You are Jason Gardner and you also own the school record for minutes played.
The steady point guard logged 4,825 minutes from 2000 to 2003, giving him a comfortable cushion on Sean Elliott, who’s second all-time with 4,449 career minutes.
To break Gardner’s record, you’d have to play four seasons, start every single game and go deep in the NCAA Tournament. Only two players in the Sean Miller era have come close to doing that—Solomon Hill, who started 129 (of 139) games in four seasons, and Kaleb Tarczewski, who started 131 games in four seasons.
Yet, both finished far behind Gardner on the all-time minutes list. Hill tallied 4,030 minutes, the sixth-most in school history. Tarczewski totaled 3,489 minutes, placing him just outside the top 10.