With plenty of ups and downs in recent years, a lot of college basketball fans have forgotten that the Arizona Wildcats are a traditional powerhouse on the West Coast. Specifically, the Wildcats have always been a haven for exceptional point guards. Arizona may not match the long lineage of point guards at schools like North Carolina or Duke, but the Wildcats have been called Point Guard U by more than a few people over the years. In recognition of that, it’s worth looking at the best point guards in Arizona basketball history.
Before Kerr won championships as both a player and coach in the NBA, he was part of the long line of great Arizona point guards. Kerr took on a prominent role as a sophomore and junior, becoming a huge part of Arizona’s turnaround early in the Lute Olson era. He then came back from a knee injury that would have ended the career of a lesser player. As a fifth-year senior, Kerr set an NCAA record by making 57% of his three-point attempts. He averaged 12.6 points on a team that went 35-3 and reached the Final Four for the first time in program history.
Terry is no doubt among the best point guards in program history. He played a supporting role when the Wildcats won the 1997 national championship, averaging 10.6 points and 4.4 assists per game. He then blossomed into a star as a senior, averaging 21.9 points per game and winning Pac-10 Player of the Year honors. He left Arizona as the only player in program history with at least 1,000 points and 200 steals. Terry then had a long career in the NBA before returning to Arizona as an assistant coach in 2020.
Since he never had a career in the NBA, the 5’10’’ Gardner is often overlooked, unfairly so. He was a four-year starter and still holds the Arizona records for most games and minutes played. Gardner is the textbook definition of a point guard who’s a true floor general. During his four years at Arizona, he led the Wildcats to the Sweet 16 three times, the Elite Eight twice, and an appearance in the national championship game. For his career, he averaged 14.6 points and 4.6 assists per game, which is remarkable consistency for a four-year starter.
The guy they called Mighty Mouse was undersized but truly one of the exceptional point guards in Arizona history. He played four seasons for the Wildcats, leading them to the Final Four during his junior season when he averaged 18.3 points and 5.9 assists per game. Stoudamire was even better as a senior, scoring 22.8 points per game with 7.3 assists. Those numbers earned him Pac-10 Player of the Year and First-Team All-American honors. He still ranks among the top-5 in Arizona history in points and assists, securing his status as an Arizona legend.
Despite playing just two seasons with the Wildcats, Bibby is undoubtedly the best point guard in program history. Leading your team to the national championship as a freshman will do that. Bibby averaged 13.5 points and 5.2 assists per game as a freshman, scoring 19 points in the national championship game. As a sophomore, Bibby was Pac-10 Player of the Year and a First-Team All-American while leading the Wildcats to a Pac-10 title and a trip to the Elite Eight. It was just two seasons, but Bibby couldn’t have been much better during that time or had a more memorable career.