Top Ten most influential: Damon Stoudamire

WildcatAuthority.com continues its countdown of the top ten most influential players in the program's history. Read on for a closer look at number six Damon Stoudamire.

The role a player filled in advancing the Arizona program was the biggest factor in judging the most consequential UA basketball players since the beginning of the Olson era. Players who helped build the program before it became a national entity were given special consideration. Consideration was also given to a player's role in building a school legacy, memorable performances, obstacles overcome, professional success, local ties, and philanthropic efforts



6. Damon Stoudamire

5-foot-10, 171 pounds

Woodrow Wilson High School

Portland, Oregon



Pre UA

Stoudamire came from a family of renowned basketball players. His father and uncle played at Portland State, while his older cousin played at Georgetown before transferring to Oregon.

UA Career

1991-92: Fr. (24-7 overall record) 3rd Pac-10

7.2 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 2.5 APG, 45 Field Goal Percentage, 41 Three-Point Percentage

Regular Season: Stoudamire's speed and scoring prowess immediately stood out, but he was forced to take a backseat to senior lead guard Matt Othick.

NCAA Tournament: The No. 3 seed Wildcats were upset by 14-seed East Tennessee State in the first round, but Stoudamire played well, scoring 15 points.



1992-93: Soph. (24-4 overall record) 1st Pac-10

11 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 5.7 APG, 44 Field Goal Percentage, 38.2 Three-Point Percentage

Regular Season: Stoudamire, like the rest of the team, played a complimentary role to senior forward and eventual Pac-10 Player of the Year Chris Mills. Despite playing a secondary role, Stoudamire's speed and shooting ability made him an impossible match-up for most opposing guards.

NCAA Tournament: Stoudamire shot 0-for-7 from the field in No. 2 seed Arizona's 64-61 first round loss against 15-seed Santa Clara.



1993-94: Jr. (29-6 overall record) 1st Pac-10

18.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 5.9 APG, 45 Field Goal Percentage, 35.1 Three-Point Percentage

Regular season: No longer playing in Chris Mills' shadow, Stoudamire thrived, teaming with Khalid Reeves to form the top backcourt in the country.

NCAA Tournament: The No. 2 seed Wildcats cruised through the first two rounds, fueled by Stoudamire dominating the tempo and Khalid Reeves scoring a mind-boggling number of points.

In the Sweet Sixteen, the Wildcats matched up with 3-seed Louisville, led by all-American big man Clifford Rozier and future NBA point guard Dejuan Wheat. Arizona won by 12, as Rozier was shut down and Stoudamire outplayed Wheat.

UA's run was expected to end in the Elite Eight against No. 1 seed Missouri, led by all- American point guard Melvin Booker. UA won 92-72, as Stoudamire posted 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists, while Booker was held mostly in check.

UA's win over Missouri set up a Final Four match-up against the top- seeded and eventual national champion Arkansas Razorbacks. The Razorbacks "40 Minutes of Hell" full court defense suffocated Stoudamire and Reeves, forcing the duo into a combined 11-for-43 from the field and 2-for- 22 from three-point range in UA's 91-82 loss.



1994-95: Sr. (24-7 overall record) 2nd Pac-10

22.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 7.3 APG, 47.6 Field Goal Percentage, 46.5 Three-Point Percentage (112-241)

Regular Season: The Wildcats opened the year ranked 5th in the country but were upset in the first game of the season by Minnesota.

Despite the lofty preseason ranking, this was arguably the least capable team of Stoudamire's tenure at UA. Besides Stoudamire, no other player was consistently able to generate offense.

Given expectations, the team underperformed slightly, but Stoudamire certainly didn't disappoint, as he was one of the best players in the country all season long and was named a First-Team All-American.

Stoudamire was forced to sit out the last game of the season, which UA lost, because the NCAA alleged his father received a plane ticket from an agent.

NCAA Tournament: The team's reliance on Stoudamire was never more apparent than in No. 5 seed Arizona's 71-62 loss to 12-seed Miami of Ohio. Stoudamire struggled, shooting 6-for-18 from the field, while his teammates were unable to generate consistent offense.



Honors/Achievements

  • 1991-92 All Pac-10 Freshman Team

  • 1992-93 All-Pac-10 Team

  • 1993-94 All Pac-10 Team

  • 1994-95 All-Pac-10 Team

  • 1994-95 Pac-10 Player of the Year

  • 1994-95 AP 1st Team All-American

  • Left UA 4th All Time in Points and Steals, 2nd in assists



    Post UA

  • 1995 NBA Draft Rd. 1 Overall 7th (Toronto Raptors)

  • Stoudamire was booed by the hometown Raptors Fans - who wanted UCLA small forward Ed O‘Bannon instead.

  • Stoudamire was named 1996 NBA Rookie of the Year; O'Bannon was out of the NBA in four years

  • Scored career-high and Portland Trail Blazers franchise-record 54 points in 2005

  • Earned more than $ 100 million dollars in NBA contracts

  • UA's fourth all-time leading NBA scorer (11,763)



    Role in Building Program: When Stoudamire arrived at UA, Olson was transitioning from a post-dominated program to a more guard-oriented attack.

    Stoudamire's skills were a perfect fit for the new era of basketball. While Olson coached numerous quality point guards up to Stoudamire, none possessed Damon's dynamic abilities. Olson allowed Stoudamire tremendous freedom to show off his blazing speed, flashy ball handling, deep three-point range, and pin-point passing.

    Stoudamire was substance as well as flash. He teamed with all-American shooting guard Khalid Reeves to pilot UA to the second Final Four in school history.

    With Stoudamire as the school's first point guard lottery pick, Olson was able to sell his new style as one that could get lead guards into the NBA.

    Stoudamire is Number 6…because he is the foundation on which the reputation of Arizona's point guards was built on.


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