Former Arizona Wildcat Solomon Hill, a rookie with the Indiana Pacers, returned to the state for a game against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.
Hill, a first-round pick (No. 23 overall), hasn’t played much on a veteran team that has the best record in the NBA, even after the 124-100 loss in Phoenix. Because of the blowout, Hill was able to play six minutes, his first game action in about six weeks.
Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, our Gannett partner, caught up to Hill before the game:
By Paul Coro
Solomon Hill was not crazy about being a member of the D-League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants for a week, but there is nothing about the rest of his first pro season that he would change.
Hill did not enjoy how he was used — or hardly used — during a two-game D-League assignment, but the former Arizona Wildcats star relishes being an Indiana Pacers rookie even with just 16 brief appearances.
Hill, the draft’s No.23 pick in June, just looks at Indiana’s league-best record and around the locker room to understand he is in the right place.
“I look at the continued success of Roy Hibbert, Lance Stephenson and Paul George,” Hill said. “They were drafted here. Danny Granger. The years they’ve had since their rookie year. Lance didn’t play his rookie year. Paul wasn’t where he is his rookie year. They just stayed with it. So that’s what I’m going to do. I want to stay with it. It’s hard to complain on the best team in the NBA.”
At Arizona, Hill was known for maturity beyond his years and that has held true as a 22-year-old Pacers rookie.
“He’s a man,” Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. “For a rookie, he’s not a kid. He’s very mature. He’s got a solid game. Very confident. Baseball teams have prospects from a farm system that they’re excited about. We’re excited about Solomon.”
Hill was a surprise pick at No.23 after second-round projections, but he fits the Indiana franchise.
He could have dropped and played more for a lesser team but going to a team-oriented, winning team made for an easy transition after UA.
“You’re not part of a winning organization and things might not turn out your way,” Hill said.
“You might be out there playing 40 minutes but taking a lot of losses. I’m used to playing with a winning program. Patience is everything here. I’m just happy to be out there with these guys.”