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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Searching for the go-to guy

    He’s someone you’ll find on every great basketball team.

    In a clutch situation, every opposing player will expect this guy to get the ball, and they will do everything they can to stop him. But he’ll find a way to get the job done despite their defensive efforts. By hook or by crook, the ball is going in the basket.

    That’s who is missing from Arizona this season — at least for now. Derrick Williams filled that role for the Wildcats a year ago, but head coach Sean Miller and the rest of Tucson are still waiting for someone to take it over this season.

    “A lot of guys talk about having and wanting a bigger role,” Miller said. “There it is. It’s like, ‘Man, Derrick Williams is gone, now I have the opportunity.’ He is gone and here’s the opportunity.”

    But Miller said he’s not looking at any specific player to be the go-to guy. Instead, he’s waiting for a player to separate himself from the rest of the pack. At first it’ll be the more experienced players that get a crack at late-game heroics. Then, if they can’t come through, Arizona will turn to its freshmen.

    “The player becomes the go-to guy,” Miller said. “I never said to Derrick or the team, ‘Let’s make sure Derrick gets 20.’ He just got 20.”

    Until that player emerges, Arizona is going to have to play a balanced brand of basketball. In some situations, Miller said, it’s going to be Jesse Perry taking a big shot. In others, it’ll be Solomon Hill.

    Finding one go-to scorer isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight for Arizona. It’s going to take weeks, maybe even months, until someone takes the reins.

    “It’s like a jigsaw puzzle,” Miller said. “There isn’t really a timetable.”

    Hill said that even though he’s being looked to for more production this season, he’s trying not to put more pressure on himself.

    “It’ll come to me,” Hill said. “If I rush it, it’ll set me back more.”

    Miller named freshman guard Nick Johnson as an option in crunch time. Josiah Turner, another freshman, could be an alternative with his ability to get to the basket almost at will. Sophomore guard Jordin Mayes, who is still working his way back from a foot injury suffered over the summer, could be another possibility with his lethal 3-point shot.

    Kevin Parrom will also be in the mix. He made his season debut on Sunday against Ball State a little over two months after being shot while visiting his mother in New York in September.

    “I look at Kevin as a big part of what we’re doing,” Miller said. “He’s a player who can score 20 points in a game, and he’s one of our more physical players. … It’s everything we need.”

    But until somebody — Hill, Parrom, Mayes, Johnson, Kyle Fogg or even Jesse Perry — steps up and becomes the man for Arizona at the end of games, it’s going to be clutch-player by committee for the Wildcats.

    “It’s not that we want balance,” Miller said, “but I think that’s the answer with the personnel we have.”

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