Had a chance to meet with Parker Jackson-Cartwright at 9 a.m. Thursday morning, and he seemed unusually alert and warmed up for that time of day.
The reason soon became obvious: Jackson-Cartwright said he was coming straight from the Wildcats' annual preseason mile run at Roy Drachman Stadium, where he tied T.J. McConnell for the second-fastest time of the Sean Miller era with a mark of 5:17.
Jackson-Cartwright said he shaved three seconds off his time of 5:20 from a year ago, when son-of-an-Olympian walk-on Paulo Cruz set the Miller-era record of 5:06. (Cruz has since transferred to Cal Poly).
McConnell ran his 5:17 mile before the 2014-15 season, when it was then the record.
Other than practicing briefly at the track on Saturday, Jackson-Cartwright said he didn't prepare for the race specifically.
"It was more mental for me, just to have an experience of what to do and what not to do," he said. "On Saturday, I ran two laps. I didn’t even fun a full mile, just to feel the track.
"We should already be in shape."
Yes, but running a mile isn't quite the same as running baseline-to-baseline with frequent interruptions, is it?
"It’s different," Jackson-Cartwright said. "Me and Zo (Allonzo Trier) were talking about that. We don’t ever really play five minutes continuous, really."
Arizona has not released any other times from Wednesday's run, but a spokesman said PJC's time was the best.
Just as the top-rated 2018 recruit R.J. Barrett was scheduled to hit town, fellow Canadian five-star Simi Shittu announced he will visit Arizona on Nov. 3. His other scheduled visits include Vanderbilt on Oct. 6 and North Carolina on Nov. 10.
The McDonald's All-American Game, which usually includes at least a few UA targets or commits, has been moved from Chicago to Atlanta next March 28.