NUMBERS

Arizona's Numbers Game: Basketball: Zero hour: Arenas, Bayless tip off series

2013-06-03T00:00:00Z 2014-07-02T12:32:05Z Arizona's Numbers Game: Basketball: Zero hour: Arenas, Bayless tip off seriesPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 03, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Call it our Numbers Game. For decades, the Arizona Wildcats' best players have been synonymous with the numbers they've worn on their jerseys.

But not all numbers are unique. Gilbert Arenas and Jerryd Bayless wore the same number. So did Michael Dickerson and Derrick Williams.

So we decided to ask the question: Who is the quintessential player to wear that number?

In a three-week series, we'll present the five most hotly debated numbers in basketball, football and baseball/softball, and ask who wore them best. Starting with basketball this week, Star readers can vote for their choice at www.azstarnet.com/polls, and we'll post the results.

Who wore it best

The number: 0

The showdown: Gilbert Arenas vs. Jerryd Bayless

The comparison

Gilbert Arenas (1999-2001)

The stats: Averaged 15.8 points per game in two years at the UA.

The details: The first-team All-Pac-10 guard averaged 16 points in the 2001 NCAA tournament, earning Midwest Region Most Outstanding Player and leading the Wildcats to the national title game.

The postscript: Arenas had one of the most compelling pro careers. The second-round draft pick and three-time NBA All-Star was one of sports' first Internet stars as a prolific blogger, then was suspended 50 games after a gun-related incident with a teammate.

Jerryd Bayless (2007-08)

The stats: Averaged 19.7 points, third-most in the Pac-12, in his only year at the UA.

The details: The guard was the first freshman to lead UA in scoring since Sean Elliott in 1985-86, and, like Elliott that season, was named the Wildcats' team MVP. His 39 points against Arizona State tied the mark for most ever by a freshman in a league game.

The postscript: Since he was picked 11th overall in the NBA Draft, Bayless' rights have been owned by Indiana, Portland, New Orleans, Toronto and, this season, Memphis. Bayless played well for the Grizzlies in the playoffs, and has a player option for next season.

The one-sentence debate: Does Arenas' superior UA career outweigh his tumultuous pro career?

Gilbert Arenas G • 1999-2001

15.8

Points per game in the regular season

16

Points per game in the 2001 NCAA tournament

Jerryd Bayless G • 2007-2008

19.7

Points per game in the regular season

39

Points vs. ASU, tied Pac-12 record for freshman

On StarNet: What's your take? Visit the Arizona Daily Star online at azstarnet.com/polls and vote for who you think wore it best.

Who wore it best?

No. 0

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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