Which Wyoming hoopster wore it best? No. 55
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. 55 - CARL ASHLEY
Center, 1967-70, Denver, Colo.
Résumé in Laramie
* 80 games played at UW
* Averaged 20 points per game
* Averaged 10.2 rebounds per game
* One of 38 players in UW history to score 1,000 points
* Two NIT Appearances
* Three-time First-Team All-WAC selection
The better question is why isn't Carl Ashley in the UW Athletics Hall of Fame?
The statistics certainly back up enshrinement. The Denver product twice helped led the Cowboys to the postseason. He was a three-time All-Western Athletic Conference honoree. Ashley played just three seasons in Laramie. All of those were of the First-Team variety.
So, what's the deal?
The 6-foot-6 center averaged 20 points per game, which ranks him third all-time behind only Tony Windis (21.2) and Flynn Robinson (26.3). He's second in rebounding with 10.2 per outing. Only Leon Clark (11.4) had more. When you own the boards and score at will, double-doubles will happen. Ashley has 39 of those, just two behind Clark and 19 away from Reggie Slater.
Ashley is still the 10th-leading scorer in Wyoming history with 1,598 points. He hasn't played in Laramie in more than five decades. Not to mention there was no 3-point line in those days. He's still No. 8 in rebounding (818) and field goals made (605).
How dominant was Ashley on the glass?
He had the third-best performance ever when he snagged 23 boards against Utah during his junior year. He pulled down 21 against Air Force the following season.
The Cowboys won 56 games during Ashley's career. They played in the NIT twice.
This should cement it. During a matchup with Border War rival Colorado State in Fort Collins in 1969, Ashley's tip-in sunk the Rams, 76-74. Ashley went 5-1 overall against CSU.
Ashley was selected by the Phoenix Suns in the ninth round of the 1970 NBA Draft.
So, I ask again, why isn't Ashley in the Hall of Fame? I'm working on that.
Who else wore No. 55
Bob Steckman (50's), John Smidt (60's), Dick Bowers (60's), Dick Sherman (60's), Ed Pollard (60's), Jerry Brucks (70's), Chris Engler (80's), Mark Getty (80's), Chris Hiti (80's), Andy Young (90's), Travis Bunker (00's), Haize Fornstrom (10's), John Grigsby (20's)
Look who wore the No. 54 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 email@example.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.