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Arizona basketball notes: Hill, free throws, Kyryl, lots of Fogg

Solomon Hill finished the regular season with two good games.
Photo by Chris Morrison-US PRESSWIRE

Arizona Wildcats sophomore forward Solomon Hill, with more-aggressive moves on offense, put up 10 shots against Oregon. That was the first time all season he led the team in shot attempts.

He took nine shots on Thursday against Oregon State.

Hill had a combined 24 points in the two games. He had five points on 2 of 7 shooting a week earlier, when the Wildcats were swept on the road by USC and UCLA.

“Solomon Hill has taken some big steps this season,” coach Sean Miller said.

“One of the hardest things to do as a young player is to put behind a bad performance, like his experience in L.A. He didn’t do well, but he worked hard in practice this week and really did leave it behind him.

“At times, he was the best in the game against Oregon State, and he is a big reason that we got both of these wins.”

Award season
Arizona sophomore forward Derrick Williams is a lock for Pac-10 Player of the Year honors.

He is averaging 18.8 points and 8.2 rebounds, shooting 61.2 percent from the field and 60.4 percent from 3-point range (29 of 48).

“I don’t really care about that,” he said of the award. “If I win it, I win it. Doesn’t matter to me. I’m just trying to win, win a championship. All that other individual stuff will come later.”

He said it
“Arizona is the best team in our league. They won the conference. Derrick Williams is an unbelievable player. Sean Miller has done a wonderful job in two years to get them where they are. I think they have a chance to make a run.” — Oregon coach Dana Altman.

For the record
Williams attempted only four free throws against Oregon — far below his average — but that pushed him past Khalid Reeves for the most free throws taken in a season. Reeves put up 264 foul shots in the 1993-94 season. Williams is at 268.

By the numbers
32.3 — Average number of minutes in the past four games for junior guard Kyle Fogg, who played a season-high 35 minutes Saturday against Oregon. This has meant less time off the bench for Brandon Lavender, and it is one why in which Miller is slightly tightening the rotation near the postseason.

Kyryl owns Oregon
Arizona backup post player Kyryl Natyazhko scored six points and had four rebounds against Oregon. He has two nice bookends to his Pac-10 season — both against the Ducks.

His previous season high in a conference game was six points against Oregon on Dec. 30.

“Kyryl is getting better,” Miller said.

“He did a good job the other night, and I thought he did a real good job tonight. I’m happy for him. It’s hard to keep practicing the way he practices when you don’t get the results in a game. It just goes to show that if you stay with it, good things will happen.”

Air time
Williams picked up two charging calls against Oregon, and he admitted that aggressiveness on offense was related to his desire for a big-time dunk for the CBS cameras.

“Any time you’re on national TV, you want a Top 10 dunk,” he said.

Williams did throw down an emphatic one-hander late in the game.

He said it, Part II
“This is a great atmosphere. It compares with Kansas.” — Altman, on the crowd at McKale Center.

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