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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Hill listed as day-to-day after sprain

    Hoops Notes

    UA men’s basketball player Jordan Hill is listed as day-to-day after suffering a severe ankle sprain on Saturday, interim head coach Russ Pennell said Monday.

    “”I’ve talked with our training staff,”” Pennell said. “”The treatment’s going real well, and just like all of our injuries, we hope (he’s) ready to go by Thursday.””

    Hill, a 6-foot-10 forward, shot a jumper in the lane against then-No. 21 Washington and landed on UW forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning’s foot, rolling Hill’s left foot.

    He was taken out of the game with 7:22 left and the Wildcats trailing by a point. Pennell was told the junior wouldn’t be coming back.

    Then there was a tap on his shoulder with around four minutes to play.

    “”It was Jordan, and he wanted to go back in,”” Pennell said. “”He was hurting. You could see him running up and down the court, he was limping pretty good, but he still was productive. He still hit some shots, and still did his thing. I thought that was a big statement to our team, too, that, ‘I may not be at my best, I may be hurting, but I’ll give you what I have.'””

    Hill scored six points in the final minutes of the game, registering a game-high 27 points and 10 rebounds.

    “”He wouldn’t let an ankle sprain stop him from helping us,”” said Hill’s roommate, point guard Nic Wise . “”Even though we didn’t win the game, he fought hard for us and he left it all on the floor.””

    Junior Chase Budinger had a class with Hill on Monday morning. Hill told him he is hoping to be around 90-100 percent for Thursday’s game against California.

    “”He said it was one of the worst ankle sprains he’s had,”” Budinger said. “”It swelled up pretty bad on Sunday, but he said he did a lot of treatment for long periods of time (Sunday) and he’s doing the same thing (Monday). Our staff is doing a good job at trying to get him rehabilitated.””

    Hill was not made available to the media on Monday.

    Wear and tear

    Hill wasn’t the only UA player physically affected this past weekend. Wise injured his tailbone and Budinger hurt his thigh in Thursday’s loss at Washington State.

    But Justin Kokoskie, an associate atheletic trainer, does his part to make sure the team is as healthy as possible each day.

    “”After every game, Justin’s there to take care of us,”” Wise said. “”In the hotel, he stays up late to make sure we’re still icing and he gives us medicine to take away the pain. Just does a good job at taking care of us, during and after the game.””

    Budinger, Wise and Hill also rank first, fifth and sixth, respectively, in minutes played in the Pacific 10 Conference.

    “”We’re at the end of the year, and it’s been a long year for those guys, and we’ve played them a lot of minutes,”” Pennell said “”… You’d like to get those guys some rest, but I don’t know how.””

    NBA Draft placed on back burner

    According to many Internet-fueled mock NBA draft projections, Hill could be Arizona’s first top-5 pick since Mike Bibby was selected second overall in the 1998 draft. Budinger is projected to be a mid-late first-round pick.

    Those predictions have not, however, expanded the players’ egos.

    “”The thing I’ve asked them to do, and I’ve done it of myself, is don’t worry about that until (the season) is over, and then we will,”” Pennell said. “”Because you really can’t do anything about it now.

    “”… We’re in an incredible journey to get to the NCAA Tournament and try to finish this season out the best we can,”” Pennell added. “”Anything that takes away from that is not fair to the team, not fair to the rest of the guys on the staff.””

    Budinger did not elaborate on his draft status when asked if this weekend would be his last in McKale Center.

    On DraftExpress.com, Hill is listed as the No. 3 overall selection, while Budinger is No. 24.

    “”Who knows? Who knows?”” he asked. “”It’s going to be a special, special day for our seniors. Hopefully it will be a good one and we’ll come out with the win.””

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