(Updated: Nov 14, 11:12am)
It would be unfair not to start this off by mentioning Kevin Parrom and the unexpected appearance in Sunday night's game. Many were stunned to see Parrom enter the game considering Sean Miller's December deadline. However, I am glad Parrom chose today to be his coming out party, because without him, UA doesn't win this game.
Parrom did seem a little rusty at points, but his lateral quickness surprised me and probably many other fans watching the game. What I especially found comforting was his no fear, "I'm going to shoot the ball when I want to" attitude. He stuffed the stat sheet with six points, four rebounds and two assists. Not bad for a first game.
Kevin, from all of us at AZDS, welcome back.
Playground Basketball anyone?
What is it with Wildcat sports teams and starting slow? Football did it the entire season and now basketball has caught their virus.
Arizona trailed at the half by nine, 38-29 and committed 10 turnovers in the first half against Ball State. UA trailed to Duquesne by two at the half on Wednesday and only led by two versus Valparaiso last Monday.
It is no secret to why Arizona can't get going. Turnover, turnovers, turnovers. They had 15 against Valpo (over 10 in the first half), 20 versus Duquesne (at least 10 in the first half), and 12 overall on Sunday.
Results like that against mid-majors might produce close wins, while results like that against the 'power-six' will end up in blowout losses.
However, even though the last three games may have driven you off the wall, there are definite bright spots. When this team has to clamp down on 'D' they do so. To me, it is almost like they know by coasting they can stay close and when the clock gets low enough, they team finally turns it on.
Against St. John's later this week, Arizona will be playing a team with the ability to produce the knockout punch. The Wildcats will not have the luxury of coming back after 10 first half turnovers, or letting a team hit 'three' after 'three.'
Arizona also won't have a chance if their full team is not playing.
This brings us to the Josiah Turner topic.
Josiah, Lost in the Desert?
Sean Miller addressed this by saying,
"It's not like he's a bad kid - he's a great kid," Miller said. "But he's just trying to find his way from where he left high school as a true freshman to the adjustment of being in college, on and off the court. Making good decisions. Working hard every day.
(Patrick Finley, from Arizona Daily Star, writes a nice article about Turner and fellow freshman Nick Johnson if you would like to read more on the subject.)
What this above quote is generalizing is that Miller is sending a message to Turner, who, from what I gather, doesn't have his head in the right place at the moment.
The transition from high school to college is a challenging one (something I've experienced/experiencing first hand) and by adding the pressure of playing basketball at a premiere school on top of that, there can't be many words to describe what he's going through.
Hopefully, the Turner received the message loud and clear and will be ready on Thursday when they take on the Red Storm of St. Johns. (Side note: Might be a sad question, but who/what is a "red storm?")
Kyryl sighting anyone?
Kyryl's minutes have been going down each and every game this season. Granted, this may be me blowing things out of proportion, but does anyone think Miller might be losing patience with him? He only played 13 minutes in Sunday's game, none coming down the stretch, while both Angelo Chol and Sidiki Johnson received minutes where Kyryl usually gets it.
However, to play devil's advocate, Ball State was fairly athletic with a big who could stretch the floor... and torched us I might add. (Sound like anything like a poor man's Derrick Williams?)
I can only imagine Chol and Johnson receiving more minutes as the season progresses because they bring more to the table. Yes, Kyryl may be massive, but he doesn't have the post game to complement his body. Chol came in known for his shot blocking ability, but has impressed me on his post defense, by deflecting passes away. A very difficult skill which includes good timing, reading the passer, and ability to not commit a foul with your off arm.
Overall, I am excited to see them play against much better competition later this week. As I said above, Arizona plays St. John's on Thursday with a match up versus either Mississippi State or Texas A&M. This will be the first test of the young season one which UA can pass if they play smart and play defense.
Also, because this season has been lacking in dunks, please enjoy Derrick Williams' highlight video from his time at UofA. I still think about what this team would/could be like if he came back.