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Greatest Games: Hassan Adams

September 2nd, 2013 News No Comments

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Editor in Chief
AK Murthy

Our Greatest Games series is a look back at some of the most memorable single game performances by some of the best players in Arizona basketball history. Make sure to check PGU for the next installment.

Breath taking athleticism, rim rattling dunks. Blocks, rebounds, steals, hustle. Hot Sauce. These are the things we remember most about Hassan Adams’ career at Arizona, where he established himself as one of the most exciting players in school history.

His multi-stat dominance is unparalleled among the Wildcat greats; Adams finished 7th all-time in points scored, 2nd all-time in steals, and 9th all-time in blocks – despite standing just 6’4. The only players to make more field goals in their Arizona careers? Sean and Bob Elliott. The only player to get more steals? NCAA and NBA Champion Jason Terry. The point? Adams wasn’t just the best highlight reel in Arizona history, he was also one of the most productive Wildcats ever.

December 9th, 2003, Arizona 91, Texas 83
30 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block, 57% FG

Adams’ career started off with a bang, scoring 22 and 21 points in his first two games as a freshman. But it wasn’t until his sophomore season that Adams truly showed his potential to dominate games. Facing a top-10 ranked Texas team in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden, the stage was set for an epic showdown, and Adams did not disappoint.

Adams dropped 30 points and 10 rebounds while extending Arizona’s record to a perfect 9-0 at MSG in a dominant 91-83 victory over a befuddled Rick Barnes and his Longhorns. Adams was particularly efficient that night, hitting 12-21 shots and 3-5 from beyond the arc, but the game was a sign of things to come with Adams sliding into the power forward spot.

It was his first double digit rebounding effort, and it wouldn’t be his last – Adams went on to post games of 19/11, 23/14, 20/10, 26/14, and 21/14 later that season. The mismatches he created for opposing power forwards was devastating, and it all traced back to Adams’ breakout performance against Texas.

December 31, 2005, Arizona 96, Washington 95 2OT
32 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals, 5 3PM

After 312 consecutive weeks in the top 25, Arizona was unranked. Washington, meanwhile, was ranked #7 in the country and enjoying the nation’s longest home winning streak. Enter Adams.

Just before halftime, Washington guard Ryan Appleby hit a 35-foot desperation heave from the midcourt “W” logo, giving the Huskies a 40-27 halftime lead. However, Arizona quickly erased the deficit in the opening minutes of the second half, and one of the most impressive duels in Pac-10 history unfolded.

Brandon Roy was nearly unstoppable for Washington, he ended the game with 35 points, 11 rebounds, while hitting three pointers to force both overtime and double overtime. But Adams went toe to toe with the future NBA All-Star, scoring eight points and consecutive three-pointers in the two overtimes.

When UW needed a big shot Roy was there, and when UA needed a big shot, Adams was there. Both players hit clutch baskets, but when Roy fouled out in the second overtime Arizona gained an advantage that they didn’t relinquish. After Appleby missed a game-winning three point attempt, Adams iconically pulled at the “Arizona” across his chest.

The icing on the cake? It was Lute Olson’s 750th victory, just the 15th time in NCAA history (at all levels) that a coach reached the milestone.

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