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Miller optimistic about Parrom’s ankle heading into Duke game

Kevin Parrom clutches his ankle after he landed on the foot of a Texas player on Sunday. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller delivered good news Tuesday afternoon about the status of sophomore wing Kevin Parrom for the Duke game.

Parrom suffered a sprained ankle in the first half against Texas on Sunday; he returned only briefly. Miller said after that 70-69 victory that Parrom’s availability could be limited this week.

Now, he’s more hopeful.

“Kevin has made a lot of progress. That is one positive thing,” Miller said.

“When he went down in the game, sometimes you don’t know the degree of the injury. We feared it was more of a high ankle sprain, which sometimes can take longer to recover.

“But he’s worked tirelessly around the clock. Justin (Kokoskie) is a great trainer. I believe just from watching where he was and where he is, that he will be able to play and be effective.”

Miller expected Parrom to “practice some” Tuesday afternoon before the Wildcats departed for Anaheim, where they will play Duke in the Sweet 16 on Thursday.

“The good news is we still have a couple of days,” Miller said on Parrom’s ankle. “We’re not on a long flight.”

Although Parrom might be short of 100 percent on Thursday, he is a key reserve for the Wildcats, averaging 7.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in about 20 minutes per game. He also has hit 37 of 89 3-point attempts (41.6 percent), and he is part of the depth that has driven Arizona this season — as well as the All-American play of Derrick Williams.

“On any given night, anybody can step up,” said Arizona sophomore point guard MoMo Jones.

“Everybody kind of looks at Derrick, and Derrick is going to be Derrick night in and night out. We all can contribute and we all can have big games. As seen this year, we all can go through stretches where we play our best basketball.

“That’s why we’re in the Sweet 16. We’re not in the Sweet 16 because of Derrick or because of Coach Miller being the (Pac-10) Coach of the Year. We’re in the Sweet 16 because we’re a team.

“We win as a team, we lose as a team, we fight as a team.”

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