The Numbers Game

For two weeks, we've asked you to choose the best Arizona Wildcats football and basketball players to ever wear the numbers on their jerseys.

Today, we up the ante.

For five days, we'll ask you to compare UA players who wore the same numbers across sports. It's our Numbers Game, All-Star Edition.

Enjoy the debate.

Who wore it best?

The number: 32

The showdown: Basketball star Sean Elliott vs. baseball star Terry Francona

The comparison

Sean Elliott (1986-89)

The stats: A two-time All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year, Elliott is the Wildcats' all-time leading scorer with 2,555 points and was at the time the Pac-10's top career scorer ever. Elliott's 743 points in 1987-88 was best in school history at the time.

The details: The McDonald's All-American from Cholla High School is the only UA player ever to lead the team in scoring in each of his four seasons. The 1989 Wooden Award winner claimed 105 victories over four years - the UA was 34-2, combined, in league play his last two seasons - and reached the 1988 Final Four. He was the first Wildcats player to have his number retired.

The postscript: The No. 3 pick in the 1989 draft by the Spurs, Elliott won the 1999 NBA title. The next year, he became the first NBA player to return after a kidney transplant, receiving the organ from his older brother, Noel.

Terry Francona (1978-80)

The stats: The 1980 Golden Spikes Award winner left school as the UA's all-time hits leader and is the school's career batting average leader in Pac-12 games, at .406. His 105 hits in 1980 and 104 hits in 1979 are third and fourth, respectively, on the UA's all-time list. He led the UA to the 1980 College World Series title, earning MVP honors after hitting .458 with one homer and six RBIs.

The details: Francona was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011 and was named to the all-time College World Series team in 1995.

The postscript: A first-round draft pick by Montreal in 1980, Francona bounced around in the big leagues, playing for the Expos, Cubs, Reds, Indians and Brewers before becoming the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1997. His greatest success came with winning two World Series titles as the Boston Red Sox skipper from 2004 to 2011. He is now the Cleveland Indians' manager.

The one-sentence debate: It's the Wildcats' best basketball player ever against the school's best baseball player all-time, and you must choose.

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

UA football results

• Friday's question: Which UA football player wore No. 77 better: Mike Dawson or Eben Britton?

• Results: Dawson wins with 90 percent of the vote

Who wore it best?

No. 32

Sean Elliott F • 1986-1989


Points scored in four seasons, a school record


Consecutive seasons he was voted an All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year

Terry Francona OF • 1978-1980


Career average in conference games, the top Pac-12 mark in UA history


Average during the 1980 College World Series, when he led Cats to title