Top Ten most influential: Jason Terry

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 five Jason Terry.

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



5. Jason Terry

6-foot-2, 176 pounds

Franklin High School

Seattle, Washington



Before UA:

Terry signed with Arizona, despite previously committing to the Washington Huskies. He was not considered a top 100 recruit.

UA Career

1995-96: Fr. (27-6 overall record) 2nd Pac-10

3.1 PPG, .7 RPG, 1.1 APG

Regular Season: Terry earned more time as the season progressed, despite point guard Reggie Geary and shooting guard Miles Simon logging heavy minutes.

NCAA Tournament: Terry chipped in 11 points and 5 assists in No. 3 seed UA's first round slaughter of 14-seed Valparaiso. He played a combined eleven minutes in UA's second round win against Iowa and the ‘Cats Sweet Sixteen loss to 2 seed Kansas.



1996-97: Soph. (25-9 overall record) 5th Pac-10

10.6 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 4.4 APG, 2.5 SPG, 44.3 Field Goal Percentage, 33 Three-Point Percentage

Regular Season: Terry was projected as freshman point guard Mike Bibby's backup, but opened the season as the starting shooting guard after returning starter Miles Simon was declared academically ineligible. Once Simon came back, Terry went to the bench, but continued to thrive, breaking the UA single season steals record.

NCAA Tournament: Terry contributed in every way the team needed during its NCAA tournament run, ranging from his five-steal game in the first round against No. 13 seed South Alabama, to an 11-point, five assist game against 10-seed Providence in the Elite Eight.

It was in the national championship game against No. 1 seed Kentucky where Terry would be needed to make his biggest impact. With leading scorer Michael Dickerson mired in a multi- game slump, Terry was called on to play crunch-time perimeter minutes along with Simon and Bibby. Terry's combination of timely threes, steals, and assists were all needed to send the game into overtime.



1997-98: Jr. (30-5 overall record) 1st Pac-10

10.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.75 SPG, 42.2 Field Goal Percentage, 34.7 Three Point Percentage

Regular Season: Despite playing fewer minutes than the previous season, Terry posted nearly identical numbers. He was the consummate teammate and drew constant praise for his team-first attitude and infectious enthusiasm.

NCAA Tournament: UA blew through the first three rounds of the tournament before running into the No. 3 seed Utah Utes. While no Wildcat played well in UA's 76-51 loss, Terry was the only regular to outperform his season averages.



1998-99: Sr. (22-7 overall record) 2nd Pac-10

21.9 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 5.5 APG, 2.75 SPG, 44.3 Field Goal Percentage, 39.8 Field Goal Percentage

Regular Season: Terry's senior campaign was among the best individual seasons in UA history. He was the best scorer, playmaker, and defender for a team breaking in five freshmen.

Despite the club's extreme youth, the Wildcats were in contention for the conference title until the end of the season.

NCAA Tournament: The No. 4 seed Wildcats' overwhelming reliance on Terry became a detriment against 13-seed Oklahoma in the first round. Terry had a rare bad game, as the Wildcats lost in the closing seconds.



Honors/Achievements

  • 1997 NCAA Champion

  • 1999 Sports Illustrated National Player of the Year

  • 1999 Pac-10 Player of the Year

  • 1999 AP 1st Team All-American



    Post UA

  • 1999 NBA Draft Rd. 1 Overall 10 (Atlanta Hawks)

  • Second Team All-Rookie Team

  • Traded to Dallas in 2004

  • Named 2009 NBA Sixth Man of the Year

  • 2011 NBA Champion

  • UA's all-time leading NBA scorer (15,537)

  • Earned more than $76 Million in NBA contracts

  • 8th all-time in NBA history with 1650 three-point makes


    Role in Building Program: No player in program history displayed a more team-oriented mindset than Terry. Whether on the court, or cheering from the bench, Terry's enthusiasm was contagious and helped drive the Wildcats.

    While he wasn't one of the stars of the 1996-97 team, his contributions were vital to the school's championship run.

    Terry finally got his chance to shine during the 1998-99 season, and he delivered one of the most dominant seasons in school history, picking up a litany of awards in the process.

    He became the third UA point guard in five years to become an NBA lottery pic and would be higher on this list if he hadn't accepted money from an agent. But his skill and sacrifice will be his true legacy.

    He's Number 5...because no player exemplified sacrifice and on-court excellence the way Terry did.


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