Top-10 hoop moments of 2005

It has been an entertaining 12 months in Wildcat basketball. The team was an Elite Eight squad, lost two NBA players and is currently riding a six-game win streak. Here are some of the best moments of the last year.

1. Salim Stoudamire nails game winner against OSU
Wildcat fans knew that Stoudamire was clutch, but his shot with two defenders in his face was something to behold. Everyone in the building knew that Stoudamire would take the final shot, but it did not matter. The senior guard pulled up from about 18 feet and sent the Wildcats to the Elite Eight.

2. First 35 minutes of the Illinois game.
Forget the last four minutes, it is just too painful. For over 35 minutes the Wildcats were the best basketball team in America. The Cats, in a virtual road game, gave the top ranked Illini all they could handle.

3. Cats win the Pac-10
Salim Stoudamire may have traveled or he may have been fouled, but neither call was made and Stoudamire nails a last second shot to propel the Cats to a 70-68 win over ASU and a Pac-10 regular season title.

4. Lute passes a legend.
With the win over ASU, Lute Olson amassed his 305th Pac-10 win. The win surpassed the 304 wins by legendary UCLA coach John Wooden.

5. Jerryd Bayless verbals to Arizona.
No disrespect to Chase Budinger, but Bayless is a year younger. He won't be on campus until the fall of 2007 and his commitment to Arizona means that even young players feel comfortable that Lute Olson will be coaching the Wildcats for many year to come. It also continues Lute's stranglehold on elite talent from Phoenix.

6. Chase Budinger becomes a Wildcat.
The Wildcats identified Budinger as the one player that they wanted in the class. Budinger is an athletic, skilled small forward who should make an instant impact for the Wildcats. Recent classes have brought in talented players, but Budinger is an elite talent.

7. Channing Frye is a Lottery pick.
He was lightly recruited, branded as soft and received less post season accolades than teammate Salim Stoudamire and rival Ike Diogu, but it is Channing Frye who is the Lottery pick of the New York Knicks. At the end or 2005, Frye is not only in the Knick rotation, but is a serious contender for NBA Rookie of the Year honors.

8. Salim beats UCLA
Salim Stoudamire continued his last second heroics. The senior capped a 24-point second half with a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left to give the Cats a 76-73 win over UCLA. Stoudamire, launched the game winner from three feet beyond that arc. He finished with 32 points, scoring 24 of the Wildcats' final 29 points.

Hassan Adams, All-American?
It is still early in the season, but Hassan Adams is serving notice that he may very well be an All-American. He's averaging 19.9 points and 6.8 rebounds a game, but over the team's last six games (all wins) he has averaged 23 points.

10. Five Players in Double Figures Lead Cats to 20-Point Win
Channing Frye had 20 points and eight rebounds to lead over California 87-67 Hassan Adams added 16 points and Ivan Radenovic had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Cats. Mustafa Shakur and Chris Rodgers each had 10 points for the Wildcats.

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