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.

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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?

 

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 14: Josh Adams #14 of the Wyoming Cowboys celebrates with a piece of the net after defeating the San Diego State Aztecs during the championship game of the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center on March 14, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Wyoming won 45-43. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 14: Josh Adams #14 of the Wyoming Cowboys celebrates with a piece of the net after defeating the San Diego State Aztecs during the championship game of the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center on March 14, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Wyoming won 45-43. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
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No. 14 - JOSH ADAMS

Guard, 2013-16, Parker, Colo.

 

Résumé in Laramie

* 131 games played at UW (second most in program history)

* 122 games started at UW (third most in program history)

* 13.9 points per game average

* Mountain West Player of the Year in 2015-16

* Third-team All-Mountain West selection in 2014-15

* First-team All-Mountain West selection in 2015-16

* Mountain West Conference Player of the Week in 2016

* MVP of the Mountain West Tournament in 2015

* Mountain West Conference Tournament Championship 2015

* NCAA Tournament appearance in 2015

* Sixth-leading scorer in UW history (1,819 points)

* Most points scored in a single season (740 in 2015-16)

 

Why Adams?

If you have ever watched Josh Adams' buzzer-beating overtime tip-in to clinch the 2012 5A State Championship for Chaparral High School, you knew exactly what kind of effort you were going to get night in and night out in Laramie from the 6-foot-2, 190-pound guard.

In case you haven't, check it out right here:

Not only is his athleticism on full display in that clip, so is his emotion and heart, traits that never wavered during his Wyoming career.

By the way, does that celebration look familiar (3:22 in)?

Adams was a fan favorite at UW because of all of those things listed above. His high-flying abilities drew audible gasps from the arena -- home and away. Need a bucket? No. 14 is your man. During his final season in Laramie, Adams netted 740 points. That's the most in school history, better than all-too-familiar names like Dembo, Leckner, Robinson and Ewing.

And guess which schools never extended an offer? Colorado and Colorado State.

Adams' breakout performance came during the 2015 Mountain West Tournament.

In a 67-65 opening-round win over Utah State, the junior scored 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting. He also dished out six assists that night inside the Thomas & Mack Center.

He was just getting going.

The following night, Adams poured in a season-high 27 points in an upset overtime victory over No. 25 Boise State. He hit nine shots from the floor and played all 45 minutes.

Adams scored just 10 points in the championship game against San Diego State, but three of those came on one shot from the corner with 1:02 to go. It gave the Pokes the lead and the eventual 45-43 win, punching UW's ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002.

Adams was named the Mountain West Tournament MVP.

"Everyone said we couldn't do it," Adams told the Associated Press. "(Larry) Nance goes down, we can't do it. Nance plays great, we can't do it. And we're here, so I think that says it itself."

After not being selected in the 2016 NBA Draft, Adams inked a deal with his hometown Denver Nuggets to play in the summer league. That same year he was involved in an automobile accident that nearly claimed his life. Adams suffered a fracture to the C5 and C6 vertebrae in his neck.

Always one to quiet the doubters, Adams battled back and has since played in Turkey, Russia, China and even got another shot in the NBA G League in 2019. Adams, 28, currently plays in the Australian National Basketball League where he was just named the team MVP for the Tasmania JackJumpers.

The highlight reel dunks come flooding back when Adams' name comes up. But will anyone forget his emotional senior night when he kissed the Steamboat logo at midcourt?

Or how about this classic sendoff after he took the mic postgame?

 

 

Honorable mention

Brett McFall (1997-2001 is still the program's single-season leader in 3-point field-goal percentage, drilling 57-of-124 during the 1999-2000 campaign.

The Kansas product could sink the triple. Just ask New Mexico.

During his senior season, McFall silenced the more than 14,000 inside The Pit after sinking a late three. He put his index finger up to his lips as he jogged back down the court. Five McFall free throws over the final 45 seconds put the nail in the Lobos' coffin in an 82-78 victory for the visitors.

"That was icing on the cake,” McFall told 7220sports.com back in the summer of 2019. “When I left the court, I got hit with something. They were throwing stuff at us. Ugo Udezue got hit in the ankle bone by a battery, which really hurt. Someone else got hit, too. So, we ran to the locker room.

“That was a great place to play. They love their basketball. But we were making a run – and we were cocky and having fun.”

Who could forget this assist to Josh Davis during a Big Monday rout of Utah?

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Who else wore No. 14

Vernon Jensen (40's), Leroy Esau (50's), Charles Wing (50's), Dale Clinton (50's), Bob Rhynsburger (50's), Kenneth Chase (50's), Monroe Hadden (50's), Harold Gardner (60's), Ron Rochlitz (60's), Fred Collins (60's), Leon Clark (60's), Gary Poush (60's), Brad Smith (60's), Darryl Russell (70's), Dan Ryan (70's), Stan Letcher (70's), Tony Revak (70's), Darren Sneed (70's), Anthony Johnson (70's), Roy Ware (80's), Rod Tyson (80's), Brett Studdard (90's), Earnest Swindell (90's), Jame Ebert (00's), Austin Mueller (10's)

 

Look who wore the No. 13 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 cody@7220sports.com

* 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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