Which Wyoming hoopster wore it best? No. 3
LARAMIE -- Do you ever see a number on a Wyoming basketball jersey and think of all the great players to wear it?
Yeah, me too.
In this summer series, I’ll give you my take on which Pokes’ hoopster was the best ever to don each number. The criteria are simple: How did he perform at UW? What kind of impact did he have on the program?
No. 3 - JASON STRAIGHT
Guard, 2001-05, Chicago, Ill.
Résumé in Laramie
* 111 games started
* 118 games played
* 13.1 points per game
* 32 minutes per night
* 44.1% shooting from the field
* Three-time Mountain West Player of the Week
* 2001-02 Mountain West Freshman of the Year
* 2002-03 Mountain West All-Conference Honorable Mention
* 2003-04 Second Team All-Mountain West
*2004-05 First Team All-Mountain West
Jason Straight was thrown into the fire early in his Wyoming career.
Yes, he was a big-time recruit for Steve McClain, but due to a Chris McMillian injury, the Chicago product saw the court almost immediately his true freshman season. He responded by netting 9.2 points per game.
The point guard helped lead the Cowboys to an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament that season. He scored six points and a team-best seven assists in Wyoming's upset victory over Gonzaga in the first round. He poured in 12 two nights later as the Pokes fell to Arizona, 68-60.
"I came in right away," Straight said over the phone Wednesday from his home in Chicago. "A lot of people were worried. I said, 'don't worry. Trust me.'"
Straight was named the Mountain West Freshman of the Year.
Straight just got better over his four-year career on the high plains, averaging 18 points an outing as a senior. That effort landed him on the All-Mountain West First Team.
"It meant so much to me to be there and play there," he said of his college career. "I chose Wyoming because I didn't want the distractions and wanted to focus on school and basketball. I graduated and did everything I needed to do on the court."
Straight will be remembered for flying up and down the court inside the Arena-Auditorium in McClain's run-and-gun offense, but he also left another legacy in Laramie -- helping convince players from his hometown to play there. Guys like Justin Williams and Brandon Ewing made that move in large part thanks to Straight's coaxing.
"It was easy to tell Brandon," he said with a laugh. "I told him, 'come here, you'll start right away as a freshman and pick up where I left off.' Then he went and broke all my records."
Straight is now the head basketball coach at Providence-St. Mel, a private Catholic school west of downtown Chicago. He played nine seasons overseas, spending time in Israel, Ukraine, Poland, France and a number of other stops. He even played one year in the NBA G-League. After his playing days, Straight worked for the NBA Players Association in New York City.
Who else wore No. 3
Curt Gowdy (30's), Haskel Leuty (30's), Kenneth Tallman (1943), Nick Eliopulos (50's), Duke DeForest (50's), Nick Sefakis (50's), Rupert Brockman (50's), Phil Mulkey (50's), Benny Dees (50's), Terryl Draney (50's), Robyn Davis (80's), Rick Henry (80's), Pat Kelsey (90's), Andy Young (90's), Aaron Abrams (90's), Ike Okoye (00's), Desmar Jackson (10's), Shakir Smith (10's), Aaron Tyser (10's), Alexander Aka Gorski (10's), Ny Redding (10's), Kwane Marble (10's)
Look who wore the No. 2 best right HERE.
Check out our "Who Wore it Best" football series right HERE.
* All available rosters provided by the University of Wyoming Athletics Department. If we missed a player who wore this number, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
* A number of players wore different jersey numbers during their careers. From the 1930's through the 50's, players were issued a home and an away jersey.
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