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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Solomon Hill plays his best game at Arizona

Through two games, Solomon Hill hadn’t come close to reaching expectations.

But on Sunday against Ball State, he exceeded them.

The junior forward posted his first career double-double by scoring 16 points on 4-for-6 shooting and hauling in 11 rebounds in a career-high 38 minutes.

“You can make the argument that that was his best game he’s played at Arizona,” said head coach Sean Miller of Hill’s effort. “He really looked like a player. He did more out there than you realize because he’s playing two positions, at times he played three. That’s the best game of his junior year for sure.”

Against Valparaiso and Duquesne the 6-foot-6 forward averaged only 7.5 points per game on 22.2 percent shooting while going 0-for-3 from three-point land. Hill also committed four turnovers in each of his first two games, leading Miller to say Hill needed to play better in each post-game press conference.

Miller said he expects at least 10 points, five to seven rebounds and a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio from his leader every night. Hill did even more than that against the Cardinals. He got to the line 10 times, dished out three assists – one turnover – and even hit his first three-pointer of the year.

“Just knocking it down was a sigh of relief,” Hill said. “That’s the first one I’ve hit this season. It’s just staying in the gym and staying with it.”

Johnson plays point guard

Miller has been searching for a way to get Nick Johnson more minutes. But with senior leader Kyle Fogg ahead of him at shooting guard, Johnson’s minutes would be limited unless he could play the point guard, something the true freshman was well aware of.

So the Findlay Prep product went to Miller before Sunday’s game and asked if he could play point guard in an effort to play more minutes.

“I want to be on the court and help my team so I told coach that I wanted to try the two positions out,” Johnson explained. “He usually doesn’t do that right from the beginning but I stressed to him that I think I can handle the two roles.”

Miller gave Johnson the reigns and the freshman held his own scoring nine points in 24 minutes as he backed up Jordin Mayes, who started at point guard.

“I thought for him to play point guard for the first time at Arizona under those conditions, a lot of other guys would have crumbled and he didn’t,” Miller said. “It’s just great to have him in our program.”

While Johnson got his first crack at the point guard position, freshman Josiah Turner experienced his first benching at the college level after starting the Valparaiso game. Turner didn’t’ start against Duquesne because he was late to shoot-around, and he remains a work in progress moving forward.

“We care a lot about Josiah. It’s not like he’s a bad kid. He’s a great kid. He’s just trying to find his way from when he left high school as a true freshman to the adjustment of being in college on and off the court,” Miller said. “We’re trying to help him and hopefully he can help himself and keep working in and get back out there.”

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