Arizona Basketball: Hill working to wow NBA

Ex-Wildcat skipped graduation to prepare for pre-draft combine
2013-05-12T00:00:00Z 2014-08-01T11:37:45Z Arizona Basketball: Hill working to wow NBABruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 12, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Solomon Hill missed Arizona's graduation ceremonies last week, but he's already pretty busy with his professional life.

The former Arizona Wildcats forward has been working out in Los Angeles and Houston while preparing to participate in this week's NBA pre-draft combine and then schedule a series of private workouts for teams.

Hill's agent, Chris Emens, said he is hopeful that the workout process could elevate Hill above his current mid-second round projections for the June 27 NBA Draft.

"He's somebody who can fit into a number of different team situations and play a role," Emens said. "I'm extraordinarily optimistic about his draft prospects. Another comment I've heard is he's gotten better each year. Even though he's mature mentally and physically - you don't usually say this about 22-year-olds, but he still has some upside to his game."

Emens said Hill's ability to shoot and handle the ball on the perimeter adds to a versatile skill set that should appeal to NBA teams. The fact that Chicago's Jimmy Butler (a No. 30 pick) and Golden State's Draymond Green (No. 35) are having success in the NBA playoffs, he said, also bodes well for Hill.

"With the success of Jimmy Butler and Draymond Green, you look at Solomon being that sort of effective role player," Emens said. "And he's ready. Some guys can be projects for down the road but Solomon is ready now."

Emens, who also represents former Cal standout Ryan Anderson of New Orleans, said 22 teams have already invited Hill for private team workouts after the Chicago combine but that Hill will choose offers from the teams with the best potential fits.

The teams he will work out for will be determined by "a combination of the team organization, the coaching, the style of play, where their picks are and what is their history of players they're attracted to," Emens said.

Meanwhile, even though he wasn't present, Hill picked up a degree last week along with fellow senior Kevin Parrom. All 26 players who finished their eligibility under coach Sean Miller at Xavier and Arizona have graduated.

Of the UA senior walk-ons, guard Quinton Crawford graduated last week while forward Max Wiepking is scheduled to in December. Here's a look at the plans of Hill and UA's other two departing scholarship seniors:

Solomon Hill

• Degree: B.S. general studies (study of American Experience major)

• Size: 6-foot-7, 220 pounds (UA measurements with shoes)

• Age: 22

• UA position: Small forward, power forward

• Pro position: Small forward

• Agent: Chris Emens, Octagon Basketball

• Current location: Houston. Hill has been based in Los Angeles for three weeks but spent last week with former NBA coach John Lucas in Houston while preparing for this week's Chicago NBA Draft combine. He will then return to Los Angeles and begin a potentially lengthy tour of NBA team workouts.

• Likely landing spot: Hill is projected as a second round draft pick by Draft Express and HoopsHype, with a good chance to stick on an NBA roster or a high-level overseas team.

• Agent says: "If you look at him he has good size, he's a guy who is probably a natural three and can play the two and four, which gives him a lot of versatility. Solomon is well known and a very much appreciated player. I think people understand who he is, somebody who can fit into a number of different situations." - Emens

Mark Lyons

• Degree: B.A. sociology (from Xavier in 2012); Lyons took graduate-level classes at UA last season

• Size: 6-foot- 1/4 inches, 195 pounds (NBA measurements)

• Age: 23

• UA position: Point guard

• Pro position: Point guard

• Agent: Brian Dyke, Gladiator/Shibumi Sports

• Current location: Southern California. Lyons has not been available for comment but his posts on Twitter indicate that's where he's also been preparing for pro ball. "Out here grinding no matter what they say," Lyons said last Tuesday on Twitter. Lyons attended the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational in April and is expected to make a tour with private NBA workouts starting later this month.

• Likely landing spot: Lyons could get a chance to showcase himself in a NBA summer league but is expected to begin his career overseas or in the NBA's Development League.

• Agent says: Dyke, who is also representing departing UA freshman Grant Jerrett, did not return repeated messages for comment, but the Gladiator website says of Lyons: "A natural leader, Cheeks is constantly directing his team, providing encouragement and positive feedback on bad plays. Cheeks has the ability to get to the rim and he defends opposing PGs very well. Cheeks has surprising athletic ability that will amaze those whom have never played against him. He was successful in the PAC 12 as well as the A10."

Kevin Parrom

• Degree: B.S. general studies (social behavior and human understanding major)

• Size: 6-foot-6, 220 (UA measurements with shoes)

• Age: 22

• UA position: Small forward

• Pro position: Shooting guard/small forward

• Agent: Parrom declined to say who his agent is.

• Current location: Tucson. Parrom stayed at UA for graduation ceremonies but did not return messages asking where he is heading next.

• Likely landing spot: Parrom may also get a summer league shot but is expected to begin his career overseas or in the D-League.

• Agent says: Not known. On Thursday, Parrom's Twitter page had the following post: "Next on the list is the NBA or Overseas! Blessed to soon be getting paid doing what I love to do! I know my mom and grandma would be proud."

Rim shots

• Jerrett was one of 64 players invited to the Chicago NBA combine next week, giving UA two representatives.

• UA has added Eric Conklin, a 6-7 forward from Scottsdale Chaparral High School, as a walk-on for next season. "I am very excited for him," Chaparral coach Daniel Peterson said in an email.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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