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The Daily Wildcat

 

Basketball notes: Miller says every Wildcat is cleared

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Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker / The Daily Wildcat

Arizona men’s basketball looked like the walking wounded on Sunday, but head coach Sean Miller said every Wildcat is cleared to practice now, including point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright, who got a concussion in the UA’s 90-56 win over Oregon on Jan. 28.

Miller said Jackson-Cartwright missed 21 days of contact and isn’t yet sure if he can play Thursday against USC.

Center Dusan Ristic missed the Washington trip with a bacterial infection in his throat, but Miller said he will also practice. Ristic was sick for six days, according to Miller, who said he is getting some of his weight back and benefited from resting.

“Dusan [is] feeling much, much better, and he’s also able to practice as well,” Miller said. “We’ll see how he does.”

Miller said point guard T.J. McConnell, who appeared to have knee trouble on Sunday, is “fine.” Rondae Hollis-Jefferson limped into the locker room late in the second half at WSU, but Miller said he didn’t even know the forward was hurt.

“People told me Rondae got hurt; I don’t even remember,” he said.

Hollis-Jefferson is able to practice this week and appears good-to-go for this weekend. Arizona went 3-1 without Jackson-Cartwright.

“I think it’s great for our team that Parker’s coming back,” guard Gabe York said.

College GameDay comes to Tucson

ESPN’s College GameDay covered by State Farm will be broadcast from Tucson on Saturday for the second time. ESPN’s basketball pregame show is coming to the UA for the Wildcats’ Saturday Primetime presented by DIRECTV game against UCLA on ESPN.

GameDay has been at Arizona games four times prior to this weekend, including the last three years.

“It’s awfully nice,” Miller said. “We have to make sure that we focus on the task at hand — that is playing the game and winning the game. … [To] have them here is quite an honor, and I think it’s something we don’t take lightly, and we appreciate ESPN choosing us.”

GameDay starts at 8 a.m. MST on ESPNU before switching over to ESPN at 9 a.m. GameDay also has an evening edition at 4 p.m.

Admission to GameDay is free. Doors open at 7:15 a.m., and fans are asked to enter through the ZonaZoo entrance on the west side of McKale Center.

“Obviously, it’s a great environment, but we’re not really worried about Saturday yet,” said Arizona guard Elliott Pitts. “We still have this game Thursday. Obviously, we can’t look past any game.”

Parking will be available in the Cherry Avenue Parking Garage and surface lots around McKale Center until noon, after which game permits will be needed to park there.

Everybody loves Rondae

The accolades kept rolling in for Hollis-Jefferson on Tuesday. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame named Hollis-Jefferson one of 16 finalists for the 2015 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award.

The Malone Award list will be narrowed to five finalists in early March, and the winner will be crowned on April 10.

The Pac-12 Conference named him player of the week on Monday. He averaged team-highs of 17.0 points and 9.5 rebounds in last week’s sweep of Washington and Washington State.

“I was excited to see him get the Pac-12 Player of the Week, because I thought he got it in large part because of his well-roundedness,” Miller said.

Hollis-Jefferson is the Wildcats’ third-leading scorer with 11.5 points per game and second-leading rebounder with 6.6 per game.

Hollis-Jefferson is seventh in the Pac-12 in steals with 1.4 per game in conference play and 1.2 per game for the season; he has scored in double-figures 18 times this season.

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Follow James Kelley on Twitter.

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