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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Horne producing in all aspects

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    Alan Walsh
    Alan Walsh/Arizona Daily Wildcat

    In the first season of the Sean Miller era, everything counts.

    Even Miller counts — literally.

    “”We’re 30 practices and five games in, and to me, we’re on a quest to get better,”” the UA men’s basketball head coach said before Monday’s practice. “”I really think we have a team that’s eager to get better.””

    After five games, Miller is sure junior Jamelle Horne can produce.

    One of the players who has helped push the pace of improvement is Horne, a forward who is averaging 11.4 points, nine rebounds and three blocks per game over 31.4 minutes per game.

    All of those numbers, except the points, are team highs over the Wildcats’ first five games of the season. All of those numbers are also higher than they were in Horne’s first two seasons with Arizona.

    “”Jamelle is doing a very good job for our team,”” Miller said. “”His rebounding numbers, his blocked shots numbers, the fact that he’s a double-figure scorer — through five games I think — we all know he’s clearly better.””

    Miller said Horne — who averaged 9.3 points, nine boards and 3.7 blocks in Arizona’s three games in Hawaii last week — needs to continue to improve on getting to the basket and getting fouled more often. Horne has only earned 10 percent of Arizona’s total free throws (12) so far this season.

    “”The more free throws he shoots and the more field goals that he shoots, I think that makes us tougher on offense,”” Miller said.

    Horne said he feels sound as a defender, but he’s still trying to find his place offensively. Early on in the season his teammates weren’t switching on the offensive end, but against bigger players in Maui, Hawaii, the Wildcats were forced to rotate more, placing Horne in new scoring situations.

    “”That’s just part of the package at this point,”” Horne said.

    A team Thanksgiving

    The Wildcats took a red-eye flight back to Arizona on Thursday and had a team Thanksgiving dinner at Miller’s house that evening. When asked if he had any help with the Thanksgiving dinner, the coach smiled.

    “”It’s just kind of a secret deal,”” Miller said. “”You have turkey elves.””

    After the laughter settled, Miller admitted the meal was catered in. Sophomore DJ Shumpert, a Tucson native, went home for Thanksgiving, Miller said.

    Foul play

    Arizona committed 84 team fouls in its three-game stretch in Hawaii. The Wildcats’ opponents, however, were whistled for just 65.

    “”Fouling negates a lot of good things,”” Miller said. “”There were times, defensively, when we were in good positions and we competed at a high level, and an undisciplined player reached, gambled, didn’t show the official his hands.””

    Miller also received a technical in Arizona’s game against Vanderbilt for yelling at the referee to watch the 3-second rule, but he said the officiating isn’t what hurt the Wildcats in the tournament.

    “”Our fouling was a function of our defense, and that’s something that we have to address,”” Miller said.

    Parrom could redshirt

    Freshman Kevin Parrom has been out of commission with a stress fracture in his foot for two full weeks now. Miller said he will re-evaluate Parrom’s condition in two more weeks and see if he’s ready to play.

    “”We’re optimistic we can have him for our Pac-10 season,”” Miller said. “”Anything prior to that would be a gift.””

    Miller said having Parrom redshirt this season would be a possibility if he isn’t ready by the start of conference play.

    Having him return to the lineup, however, would give the Wildcats extra toughness, Horne said.

    “”He’s a Bronx guy,”” Horne said. “”He’ll get in there and bang.””

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