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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Getting a fresh start

Michael Ignatov
Michael Ignatov / Arizona Daily Wildcat University of Arizona meets Augustana in an exhibition men’s basketball game in McKale Center, Tucson, Ariz., Nov. 4, 2009. Arizona went on to win 92-76.

Jamelle Horne played with tenacity on his 21st birthday, scoring 19 and grabbing 10 rebounds in just 21 minutes to lead his Arizona Wildcats to a 92-76 victory over the Augustana College Vikings in McKale Center Wednesday night.

A crowd of 13,202 witnessed head coach Sean Miller’s exhibition debut as his squad showed glimpses of promise along with moments of inexperience. After an up-and-down first half, the Wildcats scored evenly with the Vikings, 42-42, in the second half, much to Miller’s frustration.

“”To me, the second half was more of a reflection of who we are right now,”” said the first year head coach.

At the beginning of the game, Arizona’s offense attacked from the three-point line while its defense struggled. Four minutes in, the Wildcats only held a 10-8 advantage.

Then, freshman guard Kevin Parrom hit his first off the bench, a three pointer, to spark a 11-0 run, making the score 21-8. He finished the game with 12 points and five rebounds, showing smooth ball control and an effective fade-away jumper.

Forward Derrick Williams, also a freshman, finished shooting 5-for-6, scoring 14 easy points.

Nic Wise wasn’t listed in the initial starting lineup but was named during the pre-game introductions. Fellow guard Kyle Fogg was absent due to illness.

Wise played a sporadic 19 minutes — Miller purposely kept Wise’s minutes down — after returning from an ankle injury and tallied 12 points to go with five assists.

In place of Wise, Miller toyed with the backup point guard slot, giving most of the time to sophomore Garland Judkins, then handing the baton to freshman guard Lamont “”Momo”” Jones as the game entered it’s final 10 minutes.

Nine players saw at least 10 minutes of play, topped by Jones’ 29 minutes. The combo guard scored six points and dished out three assists seeing action at both the shooting and point guard positions. Miller said he was not only feeling out his roster but that he had no qualms in using such a deep bench into the season.

Arizona might have finished with the victory but Miller was adamant that there was still much work to be done.

“”(The Vikings) had their way on the offensive glass,”” he said. “”We have to get better at rebounding the ball as a team. We have to be more disciplined, tougher defensively.””

With nine minutes left in the first half, the Wildcat defense had softened once again but had retained a 30-15 lead. The Vikings kept the game close throughout the first half, closing the gap to eight points at one point, but Arizona jogged into the locker room with a 50-34 lead.

For the game, Arizona shot 55 percent from the field while forcing the Vikings into a 38 percent clip. But that should have translated into a larger advantage.

“”We were a little bit more into them,”” starting guard Brendon Lavender said of the team’s defense compared to the Red-Blue game. “”We were playing real, real hard, tough. We got a lot of work to do on team defense though.””

Arizona went up 61-44 five minutes after the intermission. Augustana attempted a full-court press, which the Wildcats broke twice resulting in guard Jones finding Williams for two alley-oops.

Arizona increased their lead to 75-55 halfway through the second half after a steal and a layup by Judkins, but keeping Wise’s minutes down in the half, the now-younger team couldn’t build upon their lead.

“”You clearly see the good and bad as a young team,”” Miller said.


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