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?

 

Leonard Washington averaged double-digits in scoring in both of his seasons in Laramie./ UW Sports Information photo
Leonard Washington averaged double-digits in scoring in both of his seasons in Laramie./ UW Sports Information photo
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No. 0 - LEONARD WASHINGTON

Forward, 2011-13, Lake Charles, La.

 

Résumé in Laramie

* 63 games started

* 12.7 points per game

* 7.6 rebounds per game

* 28.2 minutes per night

* 2011-12 Second Team All-Mountain West

* 2012-13 Third Team All-Mountain West

* 2012-13 All-Mountain West Defensive Team

* Top 10 in career-rebounding average (7.6), steal average (1.3) and blocked-shot average (1.4)

* Twice named the Mountain West Player of the Week

 

Why Washington?

When the name Leonard Washington comes up, so do plenty of opinions and emotions.

His trouble off the court often overshadowed his accomplishments in the gym. Even in the heat of the battle, the USC transfer could get a tad, shall we say, aggressive. Like the time he "accidentally" delivered a literal low-blow to Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin during his freshman season.

Despite the unwanted headlines, there is no denying Washington's talent. He arrived in Laramie in 2011 and immediately led the Cowboys in scoring and rebounding, averaging 12.9 points and 6.9 boards per night, respectively.

Washington was a critical piece in the rebuild of the program after consecutive 10-win seasons.

A suspension for a violation of team rules, along with an arrest for criminal entry and battery, nearly cost Washington his college career in Laramie. Shyatt, instead, gave him a shot at redemption.

“Leonard has met our criteria for earning his way back onto this team and has done everything Athletics Director Tom Burman and I have asked of him,” Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt said. “We are pleased that he will have the opportunity to earn his degree this spring and look forward to him continuing to help this team.”

Washington returned the following season and netted 12.5 points per game. He added 8.2 rebounds and shot better than 48% from the field while leading Wyoming to a 20-14 record.

"There was no sugarcoating what you got with Leonard. He was a tough all-around player that, when it came down to it, you knew he was going to battle night in and night out," former UW teammate Adam Waddell said on Monday. "He had a knack for knowing where the ball was going to come off the rim and he went after it aggressively. Offensively, if other teams didn't keep an eye on him, they might just end up on a poster.

"He was the type of teammate where you were always happy he was on your team and glad you didn't have to play against him because of how much he impacted the game. Leonard was fun to go to war with."

 

Honorable mention

Sean Ogirri had one special season on the high plains.

The transfer from Wichita State netted 14.4 points per game for the Pokes during the 2008-09 campaign. He earned Mountain West Player of the Week honors after scoring 25 points in a rout of Sacramento State and following that up with a 14-point outing against No. 13 UCLA.

Ogirri hit 44.3% of his shots from beyond the arc that year and is still No. 1 in school history in 3-point field-goal percentage (.422 min. 80 made). His 109 threes in a season is still the standard.

 

Who else wore No. 0

LeDarion Jones (90's), Sean Ogirri (00's), Jeremy Lieberman (10's), Ny Redding (10's), Jake Hendricks (10's), Drake Jeffries (20's)

Look who wore the No. 00 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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