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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Hoops recruit officially signs

The excitement surrounding Sean Miller’s emphasis on the long-term continued Wednesday with the signing of 2010 four-star recruit Daniel Bejarano.

The Phoenix native ranks 13th among shooting guards, according to Rivals.com. Wednesday began the early signing period for high school seniors.

Without having coached a single game at Arizona, Miller’s recruiting continues to be the only measuring stick of success in the program.

And by those measurements, it’s certainly been a success, considering the sudden turnaround since his arrival in May.

“”First and foremost, I would describe Daniel as an amazing kid,”” Miller said in a press release. “”He is as energetic, positive and unselfish as any young person I’ve come across. Although I’m confident he will have a huge impact for us on the court, I’m equally as confident that he will impact our university, the community and our family atmosphere even more.””

Bejarano watched the Red-Blue scrimmage with about 20 family members earlier this month.

While fuzzy expectations cloud Miller’s inaugural season — he has said he realizes the program’s NCAA Tournament streak could end — his positive momentum continues with the program’s long-term approach.

Bejarano’s signing also revives a Phoenix recruiting pipeline that Lute Olson developed when he brought in current NBA players like Mike Bibby, Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye and Jerryd Bayless.

“”As a player, Daniel is an exceptional shooter and has great athletic talent,”” Miller said. “”We are excited to add him to our Arizona Wildcat family.””

Gaining confidence

UA sophomore Brendon Lavender started Tuesday’s exhibition win against Western New Mexico and finished with 11 points in a team-high 25 minutes.

Lavender looked poised from beyond the arc despite shooting only 3-for-9. If Miller chooses to use a deep bench — which he already said he will — expect the sophomore to get a chance to prove why he was a four-star recruit after a disappointing freshman year.

“”Brendon to me has been the most pleasant surprise to our staff. He made a few threes tonight, but really he has shot the ball better in practice,”” Miller said. “”He’s our team’s best shooter every day. There’s a real place for him.””

A victory cigar

In Arizona’s 96-55 victory over Western New Mexico Tuesday, Miller used all 15 players, including every walk-on. With less than two minutes remaining, freshmen Ross Davidson and Max Wiepking checked in and brought wide smiles across the Arizona bench in a David Bagga-esque moment.

It’s certainly a drastic change from ex-UA coach Russ Pennell’s seven-man bench last season.

“”I really believe strongly in using the bench,”” Miller said. “”I think it protects you when injuries happen. It allows you to play intensely on defense. Sometimes just a quick two or three minutes really allows that player to return back into the game. As you talk about playing with the fast tempo, a lot of movement, and man-to-man defense, guys need a rest.””

And 1

UA freshman Kevin Parrom suffered a mid-foot sprain in warm-ups Tuesday. Miller said Parrom would undergo X-rays.

UA sophomore Kyle Fogg returned from missing a week with the flu.

“”I think it’s starting to speed up now,”” UA senior Nic Wise said. “”The only thing that hurts us is a lot of injuries and sicknesses … but we finally had a full team today. If we have a full team this upcoming week, we should be rolling a little bit faster for the NAU game.””

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