All-Time UH Team: Arizona
We posted an article giving a few UH legends 2K ratings last Friday to celebrate the release of NBA 2K20. We’re going to keep the momentum going this week by releasing our own version of All-Time Teams, just like 2K has in this year’s game. I reached out to multiple UH staff members in multiple regions to get their picks for an all-time starting five in their respective region. The one caveat is a player has to have played 100 career games to be considered. Here is Arizona’s All-Time Team, provided by Arizona Regional Coordinator, Chris Walker.
Didlake is one of the OG’s of UH Arizona, as he started playing in the Spring of 2010 in the Tempe Open League. His UH career got off to a dominating start, as he went 26-2 in his first three seasons, winning three championships on two different teams. He would go on to win eight more championships in the Tempe Open League throughout the years. There’s debate as to who the best player in UH Arizona history is, but I think it has to be pretty straight forward that Didlake is the best player in Arizona open league history. He has the most open games played (387), the most open championships (11) and the record for most assists in a Tempe Open League game (25). His 2,758 assists are also the most for anyone in UH Arizona history.
He’s now on the verge of adding to his championship resume, as his Wheelchair Mafia is playing in the Gilbert Vet League championship on Sunday. That would be his first ever vet title and would be one more reason for him to be included on this team.
Walker plays alongside Didlake on Wheelchair Mafia, as they are both looking to help each other get their first vet championship. In the past however, they were more used to playing against each other when championships were on the line. This was never more evident than in 2012, when Walker’s AZ Fire would sweep the year and win titles in all four seasons. Three of those four championships would come against teams with Didlake on them, and Walker got the better of him on every occasion that year. Walker was a beast that year, as he averaged 20.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists on 51% shooting from the field and 38% from deep across the four championship seasons.
That 2012 run was quite a while ago, but Walker has continued to play consistently in UH over the years. This has added up to 511 games, the most in UH Arizona history. Playing that long has gotten him to be top five in four of the five major statistical categories in UH Arizona history:
Points - First
Rebounds - Second
Assists - Second
Steals - Fifth
Another legend gets himself on the team in Dudley. Dudley’s resume is quite similar to Didlake’s, as Dudley is someone who has dominated open leagues over the years in Tempe, Gilbert and Scottsdale. Dudley has 10 open championships, just one behind Didlake. I mentioned that Didlake has the most assists in a single game in Tempe, but Dudlay has him beat in Scottsdale and Gilbert, as he had a 30-assist game in Scottsdale and a 41-assist game in Gilbert, which is the most in a single game in UH history.
Dudley also has one of the most impressive championships in UH history, as he helped X Over defeat Ball So Hard and then Never Off Work to get his first national title. Dudley scored 13.3 points in that tournament, including a 13-point performance in the semifinals against Ball So Hard and a 21-point performance against Never Off Work in the championship game. His consistent dominance in multiple AZ leagues, combined with his national performances, make him an easy choice.
The four players that have played the most games in UH Arizona history are the first four that get put on this team. Walker (511), Didlake (429), Jones (365) and Dudley (338) have been around longer than anyone and would be the easy choice for a Mount Rushmore of UH Arizona.
It’s interesting that these four end up making a team that makes a lot of sense on the floor. Didlake can play point, Walker can play off the ball at shooting guard and spot up, Dudley can be the go-to scorer and Jones can be a stretch four that provides rebounding, defense and additional offense when needed.
While Didlake and Walker have played in more games than Jones, he actually started playing in UH before both of them. He began his career in Scottsdale in the Spring of 2009, winning a title that season and scoring a game-high 26 points in the championship game. He’s gone on to win eight titles, all coming in the Scottsdale Open League. He’s averaged 20.2/9.2/5.3 over the course of his career, and his 3,367 rebounds are the most in UH Arizona history
Full disclosure, Chris texted me those first four names and then let me decide between Bower, Adam Bickerstaff and Steve Bertrand. All valid choices, but I went with Bower simply because I think he’s the best player of those three. If this was supposed to be structured as an actual team to play games, I would pick Bertrand to give the team some size, but this has more to do with longevity and overall resumes, and Bower and Bickerstaff have Bertrand beat there.
Picking between Bower and Bickerstaff is tough considering they’ve had so much success together, but you can take a look at their two draft titles together and see that Bower was the best player on both of those teams. Here are their averages from those two seasons.
Bower - 29.5/11.2/7.4 with shooting splits of 62/45/69
Bickerstaff - 21.4/5.4/6.5 with shooting splits of 50/46/88
Both of them are great players, and both were needed for those titles, but I give Bower a slight edge for being the best player on those title teams.
Bower has been one of the best UH Arizona players of all time, but just Didlake with the open league, I’d argue Bower is the best draft player in Arizona history. He has career averages of 27.8/5.6/9.2 with shooting splits of 57/43/79 in 139 career draft games, plus the two titles. I don’t think anyone else can compete with that resume.
My verdict: I pretty much gave my final verdict in Bower’s section. I don’t think you can really argue with the first four names, so it comes down to the final spot and who you think is most deserving to fill out the starting five.
It’s interesting to see the teams I get from people and to see what they value. Chris clearly valued the longevity of the top four guys and wanted to make sure they were on this team. L.C. Comine switched it up and did a few longevity picks (Skinkis, Hale and Scribner) but also put on guys like Jordan Cannon and Warren Rosegreen, who have played in 133 games or fewer, but they have impressive enough resumes in that time to justify it.