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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Staff Picks: Men’s Hoops

    MVP

    While everyone is waiting around for Arizona’s next superstar to emerge, Perry is doing his job day in and day out. Miller calls the 6-foot-7, 217-pound senior the team’s most consistent player, and he’s the type of hustle player that every team needs. He’ll likely finish the season as Arizona’s leading rebounder, and there is a variety of ways he can score. Perry’s work will go largely unappreciated because he doesn’t do anything flashy, but Arizona would be a middle-of-the-pack team without the junior college transfer.

    Jesse Perry

    X-factor

    Freshman guard Nick Johnson has the ability to take this team from being solid to great. He’s the only player that can consistently create his own shot and he showed during the Wildcats’ exhibition slate that he can take a game over for periods of time. The 198-pound guard can score from outside or get to the basket, and he has the freakish athletic ability to play above the rim even though he’s listed at just 6-foot-2.

    Nick Johnson

    Finish

    Arizona drops only one game at home — against UCLA on Feb. 25 — and finishes third in the Pac-12 Conference behind the Bruins and California. The conference doesn’t have one dominant team, but UCLA’s inside game kills Arizona in both meetings. The Wildcats lose two of their first three Pac-12 games with both losses coming on the Los Angeles trip, but progress throughout the season, entering the final weekend of the year still having a shot at a conference championship.

    Third in Pac-12, Sweet 16

    -Alex Williams

    MVP

    Jesse Perry isn’t a superstar with huge upside. He’s not going to go for 20 and 10, or win games in dramatic fashion like Derrick Williams did. But Perry is the unquestioned MVP of the 2011-12 Wildcats. He’s the model of consistency, and will churn out double-doubles on a nightly basis this season. On a young and inexperienced team, the 22-year-old senior is the Wildcats’ backbone, giving them toughness, experience and leadership. He’ll finish at the rim and get to the line more than any other UA player, all while showing range out to the three-point line.

    Jesse Perry

    X-factor

    Arizona needs Solomon Hill to become a consistent contributor, or it could be a long season. Sure, the Wildcats have other weapons. Yes, with Kevin Parrom back, Hill’s minutes should take a hit. But his versatility and ability to create is exactly what this team is lacking. Hill is one of the few Wildcats who can create shots for himself and his teammates. If the Wildcats were to have a go-to guy, Hill has the right skillset to be that guy. At 6-foot-6 and 226 pounds, he can take it off the dribble and bang inside.

    Solomon Hill

    Finish

    Head men’s basketball coach Sean Miller said at Pac-12 media day in Los Angeles that there’s no way that Arizona is the third-best team in the conference, as the media voted it to finish. While Miller is right that Arizona’s starting point this season was extremely low, the Wildcats’ talent will come full circle in a conference without much competition outside of UCLA, Cal and Washington. As the season moves along, the youngsters will develop, the veterans will become accustomed to their roles and Arizona will be the second-best team in the Pac-12.

    Second in the Pac-12, Sweet 16

    -Mike Schmitz

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