No. 24 in Arizona Wildcats history one for the statistical record books


Nehls photo credit: Tucson Citizen. Muehlebach photo credit: Tucson Police Department trading cards

Arizona’s No. 24 players very much represent statistical productivity in the UA record books.

Joe Nehls averaged 20.2 points a game in Pac-10 games, the highest average since the UA joined the conference in 1978-79.

Matt Muehlebach was the first UA player to register a triple-double (10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists) on March 9, 1990 against USC. Iguodala tallied a school-record three of them in his two-year UA career. Two of them were against top-flight competiton: Texas (13-13-10) and UCLA (14-11-10).

Herman Harris came very close to achieving a triple-double in an epic game against UNLV in the 1976 NCAA tournament. In my opinion, Harris’ performance against the Running Rebels in the West Regional semifinal at Pauley Pavilion is the best individual performance in UA history.

Herman Harris is shown on the front page of the Tucson Citizen taking a jump shot against UNLV in classic game in 1976

Herman Harris is shown on the front page of the Tucson Citizen taking a jump shot against UNLV in a classic 1976 game

The Wildcats prevailed against Jerry Tarkanian’s Running Rebels, 114-109, in overtime. It’s a shame no TV footage of that classic game has been produced.

Harris, a junior that season, played the entire 45 minutes, scoring 31 points while getting nine rebounds and nine assists. He scored 17 of UA’s last 25 points in regulation, answering every UNLV basket.

“They were a running team, and coach (Fred Snowden) said we had to run with them,” Harris told former Tucson Citizen reporter Jack Rickard in 2001.

“We did. I think they underestimated us, thinking nobody could run with them.”

Arizona’s No. 24 players
Source: UA media relations
Steve Chalmers, F, 1946-47
Murray Hammock, G, 1947-48
George Greene, G, 1948-50
Bill Kemmeries, F, 1950-53
Ernie Oosterveen, G, 1954-55
Louis Hopkins, G, 1958-59
Mike Schleibaum, F, 1959-60
Eddie Brown, G, 1961-62
Dan Breck, C, 1962-64
Kevin Kelly, F, 1965-66
Wayne Mcdonald, F, 1966-67
John Ugrin, F, 1968-69
Youree Myers, G, 1970-71
Ed Weatherspoon, G, 1971-72
Randy Echols, G/F, 1972-73
Herman Harris, G/F, 1974-77
Joe Nehls, G, 1977-1980
Jeff Collins, G, 1980-1982
David Haskin, G/F, 1982-86
Matt Muehlebach, G, 1987-91
Sean Allen, G/F, 1991-92
Quynn Tebbs, G, 1996-99
Russell Harris, G, 2000-01
Andre Iguodala, F, 20002-04
Fendi Onobun, F, 2005-08
Brendon Lavender, G, 2009-12
Elliott Pitts, G, 2013-

Harris never met a shot he didn’t like and Snowden gave him the green light. He holds the UA record with 29 field-goal attempts against San Diego State in 1977 (making nine). At that time no shot clock existed. Harris never disappointed Snowden, his teammates or UA fans with his high number of shots.

More notes about No. 24:

— Nehls and Muehlebach went on to become the radio color commentators for UA broadcasts. Both have worked with the Voice of the Wildcats, Brian Jeffries. Muehlebach continues to work with Jeffries and is also an analyst for the Pac-12 Networks.

— Nehls, a commercial real estate broker, has a son named Austin Nehls who is a senior at Catalina Foothills. The younger Nehls averaged 19.8 points a game last season.

— Iguodala is in his 10th season in the NBA, playing his first season with Golden State, which is good enough to make a deep run in the NBA playoffs.

— Harris resides in Tucson and works for the Pima County Superior Court.

— Arizona freshman guard Elliott Pitts is the latest to wear No. 24. UA coach Sean Miller lauded Pitts after Saturday’s Red-Blue Scrimmage.

“Elliott is very understated,” Miller said of the guard, who is a potential redshirt candidate. “What he’s missing is some strength and size, which will come.

“But in early practices, to me, he’s been one of the highlights of our team. He really knows how to play. He’s much better on defense than your normal freshman and he can shoot the basketball, and I think that’s a quality his team can really use.”

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