No. 33 in Arizona Wildcats history symbolic of hard work ethic, ideal role players

AZHOOPS33

No. 33 facts about Arizona’s hoops program as we are now 33 days from tip-off:

— Isn’t it fitting that freshman Zach Peters, a Kansas transfer who recently gained eligibility to play this season for Arizona, is considered a reinforcement to Sean Miller’s plans?

Arizona’s No. 33 players through the years have proven to be the backbone of the Wildcats’ operation without all of the fanfare.

“Smiling” Joe Turner and Eugene Edgerson, a former Harlem Globetrotter, were invaluable as team-chemistry guys. Corey Williams, Rick Anderson and Jesse Perry were significant contributors in Arizona’s rotation.

“I don’t know if Zach is going to be a guy that plays 37 minutes (a game) … but I know this — being a contributor, being a part of the rotation … no question, (he) would be a solid piece,” Miller said during the UA’s Media Day last month.

Arizona’s No. 33 players
Source: UA Media Relations
Morris Udall, C, 1946-48
Junior Crum, C, 1948-49
Paul Penner, C, 1949-50
Jerry Dillon, C, 1950-52
T.J. Case, G, 1952-53
Darrell Blankinship, C, 1954-55
Dick Mower, G, 1956-57
Miles Zeller, G, 1958-60
Bill Weese, G, 1960-61
Larry Harris, F, 1961-62
Tom LaVoy, F, 1962-65
Roger Brautigan, G, 1965-66
Warren Anderson, F, 1967-70
Greg Aitchinson, F, 1971-72
Brian Jung, C, 1975-77
Rick Whyte, G, 1977-78
Greg Hawthorne, C, 1978-80
Mark Jung, C, 1981-82
Todd Porter, G/F, 1982-83
Joe Turner, C/F, 1984-87
Ron Curry, F, 1988-89
Corey Williams, F, 1992-96
Eugene Edgerson, F, 1996-2001
Rick Anderson, F, 2002-03
Mohamed Tangara, F, 2004-05
Lucas Spencer, G, 2007-08
D.J. Shumpert, F, 2008-10
Jesse Perry, F, 2010-12
Zach Peters, C, 2013-

— In a D magazine article in Dallas, Peters, from Plano, Texas, is described as a versatile athlete and human being.

Here’s a line from the feature: “Zach plays baseball. He’s a pitcher. And guess what? He’s good at that, too. As an aside, Tim (his father) mentions that Zach could probably go to Stanford — for math, not sports. Rounding out his future college application: he baby-sits handicapped kids on Friday nights, and he’s learning to play “Purple Haze” on guitar.”

Two interesting aspects of the following YouTube video about Peters — first, it is narrated by the late Pat Summerall, and second, it shows video of Peters as a standout wide receiver in high school.

— The most decorated No 33 in UA history is Mo Udall, a longtime Arizona congressman and one-time presidential candidate, who led the UA in scoring (13.8 points a game) in 1947-48. He was Arizona’s first listed NBA draft choice in 1948 by the Denver Nuggets. He played one season in the National Basketball League before returning to the UA’s Law School.

— Three different players are tied for most points scored in a half — 33 points: Joe Skaisgir, vs. Hardin-Simmons, Jan. 4, 1962 (2nd); Al Fleming, vs. Detroit, Jan. 10, 1976 (2nd); and Damon Stoudamire, at Washington St., March 2, 1995 (2nd + two overtimes).

Lute Olson, who was responsible for bringing Turner, Williams, Edgerson and Anderson to Tucson, coached 33 years at Arizona, Iowa and Long Beach State and compiled a record of 761-269.

Countdown to Tip-off Blogs:
— Simon says: No. 34 special with two of Arizona Wildcats’ greatest wearing jersey number
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— Arizona Wildcats star recruit should not be compared to Blake Griffin
— Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller on fast track to Pac-12 success
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— Arizona Wildcats will benefit from presence of Joseph Blair in practice
— Arizona Wildcats preparing for what could be memorable 2013-14 season

WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes blogs for Lindy’s College Sports and TucsonCitizen.com.

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