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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Three things to watch against St. John’s

It’s tough to judge Arizona by three games.

“We’re very much a work in progress for a lot of different reasons,” head coach Sean Miller said on Monday’s 2K Sports Classic conference call.

The Wildcats have four freshmen still working to adjust to the college game. Kevin Parrom isn’t 100 percent after missing the first two games of the season.

Jesse Perry, Kyle Fogg and Solomon Hill are still getting used to new roles. And while Valparaiso, Duquesne and Ball State are all respectable mid-major programs, they’re not the type of teams Arizona will be facing for the rest of the season.

But that’s all about to change.

With Arizona taking on St. John’s in Madison Square Garden tonight at 7:30, the Wildcats will find out where they really stand against a young yet athletic basketball team in the Red Storm.

Here are three developments to watch for against St. John’s:

Will Josiah Turner play?

Touted freshman point guard Josiah Turner didn’t see the floor against Ball State on Sunday. Turner, who started both exhibition games and Arizona’s season opener against Valparaiso, was late to shootaround before the Duquesne game and Miller started sophomore Jordin Mayes because of it.

Mayes had one of the best games of his career, scoring 19 points and hitting four three-pointers. Turner, on the other hand, scored zero points and turned the ball over three times in 21 minutes. Miller said Turner’s benching against the Cardinals wasn’t disciplinary.

“We care a lot about Josiah. It’s not like he’s a bad kid. He’s a great kid. He’s just trying to find his way from when he left high school as a true freshman to the adjustment of being in college on and off the court,” Miller said after the Ball State game. “We’re trying to help him and hopefully he can help himself and keep working in and get back out there.”

It will be interesting to see if Turner sees any time against the Red Storm, or if Miller will stick with Mayes and freshman Nick Johnson as the floor generals.

Will Nick Johnson get time at the point?

With Turner’s playing time up in the air, Johnson saw 24 minutes against Ball State with the majority of them coming at point guard.
Johnson didn’t play point guard in high school at Findlay Prep but asked Miller if he could try the position in an effort to garner more playing time.

“I thought for him to play point guard for the first time at Arizona under those conditions, a lot of other guys would have crumbled and he didn’t,” Miller said.

But it still remains to be seen if Johnson is a mainstay at the point. If Mayes has another big game, will Johnson stick to the two? If Turner gets back in the rotation, will Johnson still play some point guard?

Those questions will be answered tonight.

Can Solomon Hill put two games together?

Miller said Solomon Hill had his best game at Arizona on Sunday, scoring 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting, while grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out three assists. Hill played a career-high 38 minutes and racked up his first career double-double.

But the junior has had trouble with consistency in the past. Arizona needs him to play well to be successful. Can he repeat his Sunday night performance this time around against the Red Storm? We’ll know soon enough.

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