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Arizona freshman Grant Jerrett makes big first impression

Grant Jerrett

Grant Jerrett scored 14 points in 25 minutes in the Red-Blue Game.

Arizona’s Red-Blue Game isn’t the time to develop conclusions about who is playing well, playing where, making a case for playing time.

It is just a scrimmage.

But as far as first impressions go …

–It will be nice for the Wildcats to have a point guard who not only can drive to the hoop but who can finish. Fans are going to enjoy senior transfer Mark Lyons after a year of Josiah Turner.

–When senior guard Kevin Parrom says he’s 100 percent after last year’s injuries, believe him. The best play of the scrimmage came when he stole the ball near halfcourt, spun past a defender and attacked the rim with a dunk over 6-8 Brandon Ashley. Smooth and explosive.

–Freshman post Grant Jerrett is going to make the biggest impact among the three freshman big men.

Jerrett can score in a variety of ways, showing nice touch on a short one-handed turnaround near the baseline and having 3-point range. He was only 1 of 4 from behind the arc, but teammates say he might be the best 3-point shooter on the team.

Jerrett had 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, made all three of his free throw attempts, led everybody with eight rebounds and had four assists with only one turnover. He also blocked a shot and made a steal.

But those are just numbers from a scrimmage. The words of coach Sean Miller were far more telling.

“Grant Jerrett has been one of the early-season surprises,” Miller said Sunday after the Red-Blue Game.

“I knew of his talent and have great belief in him as a player, but you don’t always know how soon things are going to come.”

With Jerrett, it’s been soon. Like “first week of practice” soon.

Miller invoked the gold standard when talking about Jerrett. The team’s best player through the first week of practice gets to wear a gold jersey. That was Jerrett.

“He won it, which is very difficult to do as a freshman,” Miller said. “The gap between him and Solomon (Hill) — Solomon finished second — was really significant. I think it shows that Grant has really gotten better since the summer, and I’m really excited about his progress.”

Jerrett (6-10, 235) can play power forward or center depending on which combination of young big men Miller wants to use. The coach is looking for Jerrett, Ashley, freshman 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski and sophomore Angelo Chol to eat up a total of 80 minutes between the two post positions.

“Coach doesn’t talk about the lineups at all,” Jerrett said. “We all know who competes the hardest, whoever does the best, is going to start.”

The team’s first exhibition game is only nine days away — vs. Humboldt State at McKale Center at 6:30 p.m.

“He’s very skilled,” Parrom said of Jerrett.

“He play inside or out. He can do whatever. … He has a smooth game. It comes easy to him, on the offensive end and the defensive end. One, because he has long arms. He’s going to get a lot of blocks this season.”

TucsonCitizen.com’s Javier Morales also was at the Red-Blue Game. Check out his thoughts of the scrimmage

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