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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Parrom returning to form after offseason shooting

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Colin Darland
Colin Darland / Daily Wildcat

Last week, it was head men’s basketball coach Sean Miller’s belief that a redshirt would have served forward Kevin Parrom on his road to recovery from a traumatic couple of months.

But it turns out Parrom needed the exact opposite.

“I didn’t want to sit the whole year thinking about what happened,” Parrom said. “In order to recover, I had to recover mentally. In order to recover mentally, I had to play basketball. I had to play in order to become what I am now.”

There is a distinct difference between Parrom’s play when the Wildcats began the season and the Parrom that has emerged in the last two weeks. The junior said he’s worked to get the strength back in his legs for the Wildcats’ last few games.

On Arizona’s last trip to Utah and Colorado, Parrom produced much more than he has all season, finishing with 12 points and four rebounds against the Utes in 19 minutes and six points and five rebounds against the Buffaloes in 22 minutes. Along with Parrom’s games against Ball State and Florida, Miller said it was the best he’s seen out of the junior all season.

“If you look at how he played in those four games, how he impacted those four games, he’s almost like a starter,” Miller said.

Parrom’s minutes were much closer to his sophomore year average of 20 minutes per game over the weekend. Miller said the increase in playing time is something that will continue this weekend, with Arizona hosting the Washington schools and desperately needing a sweep at home.

“We’re going to give him a bigger role and a bigger opportunity and hopefully he can build on what he did in this latest trip,” Miller said.

The forward’s 12 points against Utah marked his first game with double figures since Dec. 22, when he had 11 points in Arizona’s win over Bryant University.

When forward Solomon Hill fouled out, Parrom stepped up and filled the void for the Wildcats. That, Miller said, is what Arizona needs him to continue to do.

“We’ve always hoped that maybe that light will turn on and he’ll really settle in and find himself,” Miller said. “I can only hope that this past weekend is the starting point for him.”

Parrom said his legs are about 98 percent back, compared to the 80 percent he had a month ago. Parrom said that, with practice and patience, he has finally had time to mentally recover, something he said many people didn’t understand.

“Mentally, it’s much better than it was a couple months ago,” Parrom said. “I’m starting to accept the fact that everything’s happening for a reason and just moving on from that.”

Miller said Parrom’s presence at the 3 is especially important because it gives the Wildcats options when rebounding on offense and helps Hill and senior Jesse Perry create second-chance shots.

Time has healed his leg and allowed him to work on things like getting his jump shot back, but Parrom said the best medicine has been playing basketball.

“I think I needed to play this year,” Parrom said. “Whether good or bad, I needed to, mentally.”

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