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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Hoops’ conditioning ahead of last year

Colin Darland
Colin Darland / Arizona Daily Wildcat

It might be just one mile, but that mile represents a long journey for Sean Miller.

It’s a journey technically on its second go-around, but from the earlier results, consider this Miller’s first full season with the ability to harness full potential.

Take for instance the one-mile run Miller used as a conditioning test — subsequently doubling a benchmark based on last season.

Last season, on the first Friday of the school year, just as he did during his Xavier days, Miller timed his players’ one-mile times around a track based on pass-or-fail time limits ranging from 5:55 for the big men to 5:30 for the guards.

Last season, only four of his 12 players passed.

“”It’s a tradition I really believe in,”” Miller said. “”If they make the mile run, their conditioning starts mid-September”” and if not, conditioning begins immediately.

This season, 12 of 13 passed — the only exception being sophomore forward Kevin Parrom, though it doesn’t mean he’s in poor shape.

“”He has a phobia of running on the track,”” Miller said. “”I think he could’ve, he’s just one of those guys that (when he) sees the track, he can’t run.””

On Monday the team ran a test in which it would run six sets of 10 laps up and down the court with a two-minute break in-between. Everyone passed except for one freshman, according to UA junior guard Brendon Lavender.

“”Everyone’s in shape, getting stronger, bigger and more powerful,”” Lavender said. “”Everyday, we’re either running or lifting weights.””

Natyazhko slowed by back ‘condition’

Cautious to call it an injury, Miller said the only player affected by preseason setbacks is sophomore center Kyryl Natyazhko.

However, Miller expects Natyazhko to be fine by the first day of practice this Friday.

“”He’s been slowed a little bit recently by his back, a condition that we’re watching,”” Miller said.

Check out my new haircut

Lavender was one of the few players Miller did not mention in his 40-minute press conference — maybe because he didn’t recognize him.

Lavender parted ways with his braids during the off-season and now sports a short near-buzz cut hairstyle.

He’s worn the braids since eighth grade.

“”New year, new look, new me,”” Lavender said. “”I just felt like a new change was the right time for right now.

“”I don’t know, it was a feeling,”” he added. “”Maybe maturity. I feel like the braids were basically a childish thing. New look, new me, you know?””

Parrom wants a new image, too

What evolved into a battle cry at times, last season’s fan-popular slogan “”No Easy Buckets”” has finally come to a close — according to its creator.

Parrom — who notably took down ASU’s Ty Abbot with a hard foul on a breakaway last season — said he doesn’t want that “”boxer”” reputation that cultivated after his post-game tweet: “”ASWho ?!?!? I’m From Tha Bronx New York .. No Easy Buckets !!!””

Said Parrom yesterday: “”I mean I still want to be the tough player, but I think it was just going into a negative aspect, coming into the game as a boxer. I still want to be a defensive-minded player.””

So he won’t be giving up easy buckets this year?

“”I mean I still won’t give up easy buckets, but it won’t be that dramatic hopefully.””

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