Citizen Staff Writer
SATURDAY: SAN DIEGO ST. (9-2) AT ARIZONA (8-2), 1 P.M.; TV: FSNA; RADIO: 1290-AM, 107.5 FM
Jawann McClellan sat in a chair in Arizona’s locker room, soaking in the 52-49 victory.
He hurt after falling hard on his back with 16:07 left in the game and UA down 34-30 to UNLV.
McClellan predicted he wouldn’t be able to walk Thursday, and he was held out of UA’s hourlong practice as a precaution.
Jordan Hill was also held out after playing 38 minutes Wednesday.
“He’s fine,” interim head coach Kevin O’Neill said of McClellan.
UA returns to practice Friday to prepare for Saturday’s game against San Diego State. The game is part of the annual Fiesta Bowl Classic.
A strong Hill
Arizona rode the big shoulders of Hill on Wednesday night. His 16-point, 19-rebound game was his best of his career.
Still, the sophomore can get better.
“He still doesn’t have a great feel when people are stripping (the ball from him) and doubling him and stuff like that,” O’Neill said. “But he was a monster on the boards, especially on the defensive boards.”
Hill had four turnovers, but O’Neill said two were the coach’s fault because “I let him stay in the game too long. That’s on me.”
Hill played 38 of the possible 40 minutes.
“He played great,” said teammate Jerryd Bayless. “We need him to do that every game.”
UA’s Chase Budinger said the Wildcats’ game plan was to go to Hill often.
“They had no one to guard him,” Budinger said.
In Arizona’s past four games, Hill has averaged 16.7 points and 11.8 rebounds. And he’s stayed out of foul trouble, something that has plagued him throughout his young career.
It would seem as if Bret Brielmaier may have been sent to the doghouse early in the game Wednesday when UA messed up. He played a season-low one minute.
“I just told him we had to downsize tonight,” O’Neill said. “Bret was out of the game because we had to go small.”
The 6-foot-7 Brielmaier said there was nothing wrong with him and he understood the decision.
“It was the right decision by coach,” he said. “I knew coming into the game (that would happen).”
Freshman Laval Lucas-Perry has decided to transfer to Michigan, newspapers have reported. After the game Wednesday, O’Neill said he wasn’t aware of the move.
“I wish him the best, the very best,” O’Neill said. “John Beilein is a great coach. Michigan is a great school.”