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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Media Day hoops notebook

Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Arizona men’s basketball team hosted the Oklahoma Sooners in a college basketball game Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010, at McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz. The Wildcats stormed to an 83-60 win.

• At Arizona men’s basketball media day on Wednesday, head coach Sean Miller said he has some concerns about the Wildcats’ tough schedule, which includes games away from Tucson against St. John’s,Florida, Gonzaga and New Mexico State before Pac-12 Conference play begins.

“To me, we’re really pushing the envelope in terms of tough games,” Miller said. “Now what you have is a young team. We’re going to get better because we challenge ourselves.”

All four incoming freshmen — Josiah Turner, Sidiki Johnson, Nick Johnson and Angelo Chol — have been impressive and have shown a strong work ethic so far in workouts. Miller said the best thing about the group is that “they love the game of basketball,” and “each one of the wants to be a good player individually.”

Miller also said the newcomers haven’t hesitated in taking the advice of older players.

• Junior forward Solomon Hill said he sees some similarities between his class and the group of freshmen coming in this season.

“They’re kind of spread out, you’ve got a one, a two, a four,” Hill said. “Those guys are really ready to play. They probably won’t see as significant a role as we did in my first year, but to add those pieces, it’s a great deal of what we’re going to do.”

• Hill also said the nine-game stretch to end the 2010 season — home games against the Oregon schools, the Pac-10 Tournament and the NCAA Tournament — helped him gain confidence as a player, especially in the post.

• Miller said that senior forward Jesse Perry might see some time at the small forward position, especially until Parrom is able to return to the team.

• Miller also said that Arizona could go with a three-guard look at times with Parrom’s future uncertain. That would give the Wildcats the ability to have either Nick Johnson or Kyle Fogg on the floor with sophomore point guard Jordin Mayes and Turner.

– Mayes put on about 15 pounds during the offseason, getting his weight up to around 195 pounds. Mayes has also returned to team activities after having surgery in July to repair a broken foot.

– Miller said that instead of one player stepping up to replace the production of Derrick Williams, he’d like to have five or six players averaging double-digits in scoring.

– Both freshman forward Sidiki Johnson and Perry said they don’t have any personal goals, other than winning a national championship this season.

– All of the players and coaches agreed that last season’s success made them hungrier for this season, so putting work on tedious things like defense and conditioning was easy after seeing measurable results on the court.

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