6 Players Can Be Arizona Basketball’s Leaderby Clair Wyant on Jan. 18, 2012, under Basketball, University of Arizona
University of Arizona basketball team is having not the best of years.
They are small in size, living and dying with the three as a result. Shooting, rebounding and defense is inconsistent while turnovers are a common occurrence. And head coach Sean Miller is frustrated.
“I’m very disappointed in our team. We are not the most talented Arizona team. We’re certainly not the biggest Arizona team. But what we can control is collective effort and for 20 minutes we picked and choosed how hard we were going to play,” said Miller after a 59-57 loss at home to Oregon on January 15.
It is resulting in a 12-6 overall record, and more importantly 3-2 record in conference play, as of January 15.
Not having a leader may not show up on the box score, but can mentally eliminate a lot of the inconsistencies plus provide emotional support. Not having a leader is the biggest missing piece of the puzzle, although there are six possibilities.
- Kyle Fogg: The senior guard is a big offensive player, but if you catch him on the wrong night, he can be a treat defensively as well. If it was not for his drive to get a layup or a tray, the Cats’ defiantly will have a few more losses.
- Solomon Hill: If there is a leader, it is Hill. Coach Miller has looked at him to be important on both sides of the court. When Hill plays well, the team plays well, regardless what other players do.
- Nick Johnson: Yes, he is only a freshman, but he has played a big role. He has the athleticism, knows how to score. Not only that, he is a freshman who has his ego in check. I think he is the most NBA ready player, but he is not ready yet.
- Brendon Lavender: The senior guard has had a solid career at Arizona, especially the last 2 years, as a contributing player. He was sluggish to start the season, but has turned it up a notch or two since Christmas, resulting in more minutes. If he keeps on playing the way he’s been playing, he will be key as the season goes down the finishing stretch.
- Kevin Parrom: Parrom is the most improved player returning to the team this year, who showed what he could do last season during the NCAA tournament. The team was emotionally devastated with the death of his mother and getting shot in the leg. The team got an emotional lift when he first got on the court, and every time there after. Unfortunately, I have the sense that has worn out.
- Josiah Turner: Yes, another freshman, but he was the player with the most promise. When you look at the full body of work, since mid-December, he has consistently been rebounding very well for a guard, being unselfish with the ball while putting points on the board. He played well in late December, early January. He has a high amount of turnover though. He was also in Sean Miller’s doghouse beginning of the year, but his ego appears to be in check. It has shown on the court.
There are one or two other players one can easily throw in the debate, but the fact six players are being discussed for being the leader middle of January is a major problem.
Where is Derrick Williams when you need him?