All-Time Lute Olson Team



oldschoolnewschoolAfter trimming down roughly 25 years of rosters into two separate 12-man rosters, I had a tougher task of combining the teams into one team and cutting half the players. The criteria of Old School and New School All-Star teams has been thrown out the window because it is time to produce the All-Time Lute Olson Team. By now you should be familiar with the criteria, but I feel it is important to reiterate one of them – that the team has to be realistically functional. I can’t have 12 backcourt players on this roster, nor can I have half of the team be frontcourt players. So I’m sure that there will be a fair deal of disagreement on who gets in and who sits out. That’s okay, once again tell me what you like and what you would change and why.


All-Time Lute Olson Team


Point Guard: Steve Kerr – How can you not start Steve Kerr? He performed so many heroics in an Arizona jersey and faced the most amount of adversity any college player has ever seen. He was an incredibly smart player and a prolific three-point shooter. To not start Kerr would be an injustice.

Shooting Guard: Damon Stoudamire – If you’re looking for a guy that could do it all as the off-guard look no further than Damon Stoudamire. Lightning fast, aggressive, and a big time play-maker.

Small Forward: Sean Elliott – Elliott was the key to the success of ‘88. He was arguably the best prospect Arizona has ever had, at any position. You can tell me that I’ve made a bad call on point guard, shooting guard, or any other position – but if you tell me I blew this one you are in serious need of a shrink evaluation.

Power Forward: Channing Frye – Yes, I know Frye wasn’t actually a power forward in his time at Arizona, but he was better than any power forward on the list. So I would go with two starting centers on this list. Frye was an amazing shot blocker who could run the court. Matched with his offensive skill set there’s no doubt in my mind that Frye deserves a starting spot.

Center: Brian Williams (aka Bison Dele) – This could be the most debated pick, but Williams was the epitome of a true center. He was big, strong, and was an intimidator inside the paint. Williams gets my vote as the best center in Arizona history.

The Bench:

PG: Mike Bibby – If it weren’t for Kerr, I would start Mike Bibby because he had the most complete all-around game of the group of point guards. Bibby could shoot, make the amazing pass, create his own shot and apply great pressure on the defensive end. Not to mention in his freshman year he guided and directed the Wildcats to their NCAA Championship in 1997.

PG: Jason Terry – Terry was a maniac at Arizona. He had so much speed and intensity that no team could ever match it. When he was coming off the bench it was almost an instant momentum boost. If he was starting you knew the entire team was going to play hard while he was on the court. And who could forget those ‘Cats’ socks up to his knees?

SG: Miles Simon – I said it before, Simon wasn’t the most talented player ever to suit up for Olson, but he was perhaps the luckiest. Simon always found a way to get it done, even if it was luck sometimes. When you’re going for an NCAA Championship luck does have something to do with it, and Simon was lucky (think ¾ court buzzer beater vs. Cincy).

SF: Michael Dickerson – I am a huge Dickerson fan. He played smart, played hard, and was a great defender. He was a streaky shooter because of his delivery, but when he was on he was down-right lethal. I just wish that his chronic health problems wouldn’t have forced him to leave the NBA early.

SF: Chris Mills – How can you argue with the stats and the job that he did at Arizona? Earning All-American and All-Conference accolades, shot nearly 50% from beyond the arc, and tallied 16.5 ppg during his tenure at Arizona.

PF: Ben Davis – Davis didn’t have the career numbers that some of the other players had, not even some of the ones that were left off this team. Davis did lead the team in scoring and rebounding during his senior season and was the go-to guy that year. His ‘go-to’ status is what puts him on this list above some of the players who were left off.

C: Loren Woods: Woods has the highest blocks per game average of anyone. Tally that with his 14.4 cumulative points per game, it would be an injustice to leave Woods of this team.


Last Players Cut (No particular order): Michael Wright, Salim Stoudamire, Richard Jefferson, Anthony Cook, Tom Tolbert


4 Responses to “All-Time Lute Olson Team”

  1. 1 naterb January 10, 2009 at 11:19 am

    It was pointed out to my attention that I left Gilbert Arenas off the list. That was a complete oversight. I had originally put him on the list, but during the process of putting this list together I must have neglected to include him when transferring from one list to another.

    Arenas would be the starting shooting guard for me, while Ben Davis would drop off the list. Arenas was a largely uncrecruited player when he comitted to Arizona, but he was the drive train for that 2001 National Runner-Up team. Some times I wish we could redo that play against MSU where he got injured in the Final Four. I wonder how differently the Championship game would have turned out had that not happened…

  2. 2 Seatown Wildcat January 10, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Gilber Arenas should only be mentioned if you’re talking about players the under achieved in college but rocked in the pros. Also, Arenas was a highly touted recruit and never performed to the level he should have. He did good in one tournament and then left the next year.

  3. 3 naterb January 10, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    How can you say that Arenas underachieved? He wasn’t a big time NBA prospect because he was considered too short for the shooting guard spot, and didn’t have the ball handling skills of an NBA point guard. But Arenas was a fierce competitor who was originally expected to be drafted in the first round.

    While at Arizona he became only the 6th Arizona player in history to eclipse the 1,000 point mark as a sophomore. He was a First-Team All-PAC-10, Sporting News All-American, and an AP All-American honorable-mention.

    College Career Statline: 15.8 ppg, 36.1% 3pt, 2.2 apg, 3.8 rpg, 1.9
    Best Season: 16.2 ppg, 41.6% 3pt, 2.3 apg, 3.6 rpg, 1.8 spg
    Career high 30 points (vs. UCLA). Scored 20 or more 20 times in two years.

    How can you say that Arenas Underachieved?

  4. 4 mjdoc January 13, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Seatown, You must have amnesia.

    1. Arizona was the only major program to offer Arenas a scholarship. He was a completely unknown recruit at the national level.

    2. Arenas has always overachieved given the expectations…both college and pro.

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