T.J. McConnell

T.J. spent plenty of time at the UA on a ladder. Photo by Wildcat Universe

It was 76 games of yells, fist pumps and, ultimately, tears.

T.J. McConnell’s UA career was only two seasons long but his imprint on the program is undeniable. His performance will live on in the record book and the hearts of Arizona Wildcats fans everywhere.

Arizona’s senior point guard set career highs across the board. His 238 assists were the second-most ever produced in a Wildcat season and his second entry on the school’s top-10 list. His two-year total ended up just 15 assists shy of cracking the Arizona career top 10.

On the defensive end McConnell recorded 83 steals in the 2015 season, the third-best mark in UA history. He finished his career only 17 steals short of the career top 10.

Most importantly, McConnell played on two of the three winningest teams in Wildcat history. The two-year total of 67 wins is a new school record, besting the 64 combined wins in Sean Elliott’s final two seasons (1988 and ’89).

McConnell’s Cats won back-to-back conference championships, something that hadn’t happened at Arizona in two decades. This year’s team also got Arizona back on top of the list of most Pac-12 tournament titles.

It’s tempting to wonder how many records McConnell would have set if he had played four years at Arizona instead of spending the first half of his college career at Duquesne but he doesn’t play here if he didn’t play there. McConnell would not have ended up in Tucson if he had not posted two strong seasons in the Atlantic 10, including the 2011-’12 season when he just happened to play a game at McKale.

Don’t focus on the few things that didn’t happen during McConnell’s two seasons. Applaud him for everything that did.

During his incredible senior season he was a scoring threat (50% shooting from the field) and a late-game closer (83% from the free throw line). He left the University of Arizona undefeated at home.

For two years the McKale Center was turned into the McConnell Center.

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