After former President Bill Clinton started his own rumor that the Arkansas Razorback basketball program would retire number 42 in honor of him, which we now know isn’t happening, I started thinking which numbers the athletic department should think about retiring.
Sidney Moncrief’s number 32 hung in the rafters of Barnhill until the team moved into Bud Walton Arena, but Moncrief’s jersey never made the move to the new building. An athletic department administrator has said they are trying to get a special anonymous guest for the ceremony honor Arkansas’ six Final Four teams. If that person isn’t Moncrief with the intention of them finally putting his jersey in the rafters of Bud Walton Arena, I honestly don’t know what they are doing.
There are several other candidates who have a case to have their jersey number either retired or at least honored. (The only criteria I made mandatory was that the player must have played in a Final Four.)
#34 Corliss Williamson (last to wear #34)
Arguably the most important player in program history, "Big Nasty" was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 1994 Final Four after averaging 26 points and 10.5 rebounds. He is 8th on the all-time scoring list, 1st in all-time scoring in SEC games, 10th in career rebounds, and 1stin all-time scoring in NCAA Tournament games for the Razorbacks.
#30 Scotty Thurman
The school’s career three-point percentage leader (43.2%) hit "The Shot" to give the Hogs the lead over Duke in the 1994 National Championship game. No one has hit more three-pointers in one season (102) than he did in 1995 and no freshman has scored more points in one season (540) than he did in 1993.
#10 Todd Day
As Arkansas’ all-time scoring leader (2,395 points), Day has to be a lock for jersey honoring. His 786 points in 1991 are still the most points any Razorback has scored in a single season and his 43 points against LSU on Jan. 11, 1992 are still the most points a Hog has ever scored in an SEC conference game. Matter of fact, his 39 points against Alabama on March 14, 1992 are the second most a Hog has ever scored in an SEC conference game.
He is also 8th in career rebounds (673) and 7th in assists (319). He was the 8th overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft. If Day's jersey is honored expect Mayberry's to be done at the same time. Last year I asked Day what was one thing that Razorback fans may not know about him and he simply responded, "Lee Mayberry is still my best friend.
#11 Lee Mayberry
This is more subjective evidence, but Mayberry was the type of player who could bring Nolan Richardson back out onto the floor after a premature trip to the locker room. In Austin on Feb. 4, 1990, Mayberry hit a 30-foot three-pointer with three seconds left on the clock to send the game to overtime. Richardson had gone to the locker room with 13 seconds left after being upset with the referees calling an intentional foul on Mayberry. Arkansas won in overtime 103-96. Now to the more objective stats: he was 3rd in career points, 2nd in career assists, and 1st in career steals. He also started the most consecutive games in Razorback history (96) and played in the most games (139)
#25 Oliver Miller
"Big O" is 9th in career scoring, 1st in career field goal percentage (63.6%), 3rd in career rebounding (886), and 1st in career blocked shots (345). He was the 22nd overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft.
#42 George Kok
Bill Clinton doesn’t realize he is actually getting a George Kok jersey on Saturday (I know Clinton is getting #42 because he was the 42nd President). Kok was a freshman on Arkansas’ second Final Four team in 1945. He was the first Arkansas player to score 1,000 points and was the 2nd pick overall in the 1948 NBA draft. Only Corliss Williamson scored more points in less games than Kok.
#44 Marvin Delph
He is 7th on the career scoring list at Arkansas and was one of the famed "Triplets." He was a key piece in Arkansas going to their third Final Four in school history, which was their first Final Four in the modern era.
#10 Ron Brewer
Boothead is 15th on the career scoring list at Arkansas, a spot he reached in only three years after playing his freshman season at Westark Junior College. He was the 7th overall pick in the 1978 NBA draft. He led the 1978 Final Four team in scoring averaging 18 points per game. He was also a member of the "Triplets."
North Carolina, Duke, and even Texas retire numbers. UNC has seven retired numbers, Duke has 13 and Texas has three, most recently retiring Kevin Durant’s number 35 despite only playing one season in Austin.
It may seem silly to retire some of the numbers at this point, considering the number 10 is currently being worn by Bobby Portis. But why not go ahead and make Williamson’s number official? Michael Sanchez allegedly asked for the number 34 and was denied. If they are going to deny the number being issued then go ahead and retire it. So maybe not all of these numbers should be retired, but they should at least be honored. They could take the Kansas route, who retires jerseys, but not numbers. Whether they are hanging from the rafters, or have their own display together in Bud Walton Arena, something needs to be done.
Which jerseys would you retire?
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