Height: 6-8 1/2
Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
High School: Prairie HS
General: A fifth-year player in the Arizona basketball program, he is coming off the best and most productive season of his career... Filled in admirably for Loren Woods during his back injury late last year... Even though he was undersized at center, still managed to hold his own and help the Wildcats to a Pac-10 title and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament... Might be the best role player in the country... Understands the game really well and would like to turn his knowledge of the basketball into a job with an NBA front office after graduation... Heady player who has worked hard to improve his game... Has become much more competitive defensively, something the coaches asked him to do prior to last season... Good passer and ball handler... Nice touch on his shot and gives the Cats versatility on the floor... Has lost just once during his playing career in McKale Center (New Mexico, 1999-00)... Known as The Weaze to teammates and fans... Will try to get the fourth championship ring of his career this season he already owns two Pac-10 title rings and a 1997 NCAA Championship ring... Has hit the weights hard to help improve his strength... Was a redshirt freshman during the Wildcats 1997 NCAA championship season, but was able to travel to the tournament with the team... Another of the five heralded recruits Arizona signed in the fall 1995 signing class... Is able to bring the ball up the floor and can create match-up problems with his size and diverse game... Apparently thinks that blondes have more fun, as he died his hair during the summer of 2000.
1999-00 (Junior): Played in 32 games and started eight times... Averaged 3.5 ppg and 3.4 rpg... Made 30-of-37 free throw attempts and at one point made 28 in a row... That was one shy of the UA record for consecutive free throw makes... Suffered a sprained ankle in the win over Stanford in Tucson... Did not play in the regular season finale against Cal... Made a gutty return for the NCAA Tournament and went for 10 points and eight rebounds against Jackson State... Gave the Wildcats a huge lift when the game was close in the first half... Was 5-of-8 from the floor... Reinjured the ankle in round two against Wisconsin, however, and had to sit out the latter stages of the game... First start of the season was against Michigan State in Tucson... Started when Woods was late to McKale after getting in a car wreck on the way to the game... In the win over UCLA in Tucson, he scored 12 points to go with four boards and was a perfect 10-of-10 from the FT line... Left the game with 2:40 left after taking an elbow to the nose... Cut would require three stitches... Eight points and eight boards against Arizona State at home... Missed the New Mexico game after suffering a Grade 2 concussion against Nebraska in the Las Vegas Showdown... Nine points and seven rebounds while playing in a career-high 41 minutes at Oregon State.
1998-99 (Sophomore): Played in all 29 games for the Wildcats and started seven times at the three-guard spot... Was able to get more playing time and showed a much improved game... Averaged 3.1 ppg and 2.7 rpg while averaging 15.8 mpg... Had a career-high 15 points against Wyoming, making 6-of-7 shots... Played a career-high 29 minutes three times (Wyoming, Iowa State and Holy Cross)... Was shooting 58.3% from the floor through the Cats first eight games of the season... Scored seven points and had four rebounds at Oregon State... Four points and a career-best seven rebounds against Washington State in Tucson... Went for nine points versus Holy Cross... Was 3-of-3 from the floor in the opener against Tennessee... Had a key block in the closing minutes of that game to help preserve the win... His 28 offensive rebounds were fifth on the team.
1997-98 (Redshirt Freshman): Played in 24 games while averaging 5.6 mpg... 12-of-19 from the floor (.632)... Scored 1.2 ppg and pulled down 1.2 rpg... Inserted into the lineup early at UCLA in the regular season finale and played seven minutes during critical stages... Career-best six points against Arizona State... Scored four points to go with a career-high three boards versus Oregon... Scored four points on two other occasions -- versus James Madison and at Washington... Got the chance to play in the Cats' first and second round NCAA games... Had a rebound and an assist versus Nicholls State and scored two points versus Illinois State.
1996-97: Redshirt season... Fractured his left ankle in December and missed about six weeks of practice... Just before the injury there had been some discussion among the UA coaching staff about playing him because of a depleted roster (injured A.J. Bramlett/Miles Simon ineligibility).
High School: Graduated from Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa... Averaged 27.5 ppg as a senior and pulled down 9.8 rpg... Three year letterman for head coach Denny Thiessen... Was named Mr. Basketball for Iowa by the Iowa Newspaper Association... Gatorade Circle of Champions' State Player of the Year... The Iowa Basketball Coaches' Association Player of the Year... McDonald's All-American nominee... First Team 4A All-State and Mississippi Valley Conference Player of the Year.. Was the conference and Cedar Rapids Metro Area's scoring champion... Shot 61.8% from the floor during his career... As a junior, he was a First Team All-State 3A selection after averaging 22.2 ppg and 8.0 rpg... Holds the school record for making the most consecutive free throws (22).
Personal: Justin Daniel Wessel... Born 4-28-78 in Cedar Rapids,
Iowa... Son of Jeffrey and Marla Wessel... Father is the associate principal
and athletic director at Prairie HS... Majoring in communication...
In the summer of 1998, had off-season cornea transplant surgery on his
right eye... Has spoken on behalf of the donor program... In the summer
of 1996, toured Australia with the Iowa Senior Select Team... His
cousin is Cal Eldred, a former pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers... One
of this country's many long-suffering Chicago Cubs fans and a self-proclaimed
clone in Jim Romes radio talkshow jungle.
Wessel's Career Statistics