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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Solo getting comfortable as hoops prepares to host NAU

More than a month ago, head coach Sean Miller called out Solomon Hill during his post-game press conference after Arizona fell to Seattle Pacific.

“Solomon needs to play better,” Miller said.

It took a few games, but the junior forward finally got the message.

After a forgettable exhibition season, Hill leads the Wildcats in scoring with 12 points per game, assists with 3.14 per game, and ranks second in rebounding with 7.9 boards per game.

“When Solomon’s at his best, he’s the jack of all trades,” Miller said. “Solomon right now is probably our team’s most consistent, best player alongside Jesse (Perry).”

Over his last five games, Hill is scoring 13.8 points per game, grabbing 8.4 boards, shooting 52.3 percent from the field, while also dishing out 3 assists and committing only 1.8 turnovers.
Hill said he still needs to improve his play in the second half of games, but he’s finally showing flashes of what he can do on the floor.

“I’ve come a long way, I’ve shown strides,” Hill said. “I’m really getting to the basket and creating for myself in the first half.”

Miller to stick with lineup

Miller said he expects to stick with the small lineup he started against New Mexico State — Jordin Mayes, Kyle Fogg, Nick Johnson, Hill and Jesse Perry — this Saturday against NAU.

The UA gave up 19 offensive rebounds and 23 second-chance points against the Aggies, but as Perry said after the game, “you have to put the best five on the court” and Arizona’s proven it can hold its own.

“We’re smaller, clearly, so we all have to rebound but we’re a lot quicker,” Johnson said.

As the new member of the UA’s starting five, Johnson turned in his best game as a Wildcat against the Aggies and is now averaging 11 points per game while leading the team in 3-point shooting at 44.0 percent.

Miller has raved about Johnson’s work ethic and maturity on and off the court, something Johnson attributes to his time at Findlay Prep.

“That really set me up for success,” Johnson said. “Being away from home for two years without my family or anybody, it definitely makes you grow up.”

Parrom 80 percent

While Hill and Johnson are thriving, Kevin Parrom continues to work his way back from the gunshot wound he suffered in late September.

Since returning to the court against Ball State, Parrom is 5-for-21 from the field with all of his buckets coming from 3-point land.
Miller said the 6-foot-6 small forward is playing at only 80 percent “in terms of explosion and feeling.”

“I’m confident as we all are that the best is yet to come for him,” Miller said.

Reaction to Derrick Williams video

Derrick Williams’ Under Armour “Are You HERE?” commercial aired on Wednesday night, causing quite the buzz among his teammates. Hill said he got a sneak preview of the video on Wednesday and shared a few laughs with his former teammate.

“It was just weird to see him with a serious face,” Hill said. “I still couldn’t take him serious.”

Miller also saw the commercial and gave Williams his input.

“I did call him after the commercial and my comment was real simple: I was really disappointed they didn’t show him working on his defense,” Miller said with a laugh.

Sidiki Johnson still suspended

Freshman center Sidiki Johnson, who was suspended for violations of team policy during UA’s trip to Madison Square Garden, is still not participating in team activities.

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