BASKETBALL

Arizona basketball: One high-school All-American might have to be a sub

2012-10-23T00:00:00Z 2014-08-01T11:20:24Z Arizona basketball: One high-school All-American might have to be a subBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
October 23, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Sean Miller has the kind of problem every college basketball coach would love to have.

Never having landed a McDonald's high school All-American before the 2012 class, the Arizona Wildcats' coach now may have to bench one.

And the way McDonald's alum Grant Jerrett played in Sunday's Red-Blue Game, and while earning a gold jersey for the team's best practice contributions before that, it may not be him sitting down.

Jerrett and fellow McDonald's alum Brandon Ashley are vying for time at power forward, though Miller could actually start both players together if he wanted. Jerrett and Ashley are part of a four-man group, along with freshman Kaleb Tarczewski and sophomore Angelo Chol, that is expected to fill the two post positions.

While Miller said practice competition will determine who starts, he knows there may be some work ahead getting his players to adjust to different roles.

"Not everybody will shoot the amount of shots that they want, score the amount of points that they hope to, play the amount of minutes that they aspire to," Miller said. "How we as a coaching staff, as a team and as individual players, handle that is crucial to our success."

Not only do the Wildcats have to iron out a suitable post rotation, but Miller said there is a need to define what kinds of shots certain players should be taking, as well as to find somebody to assume the defensive presence that guard Kyle Fogg had last season.

It may not be easy initially.

"It takes a lot of sacrifice," Miller said. "If you have a team of depth, you start to look more and more as you get closer to the beginning of the season to see how that is going to happen.

"When it doesn't work out, as an individual player it's important to handle it well. When they don't, then it's going to really be met with force."

So far, Miller appears to have some pretty low maintenance with Jerrett, who had 14 points, four assists, eight rebounds, a block and a steal on Sunday. Jerrett went 5 of 8 from the field and 3 of 3 from the free-throw line.

He did not appear to be a freshman.

"He has a smooth game," senior wing Kevin Parrom said. "You can tell he's been around the game for a long time.

"He's been doing that since he was little. It's comes easy for him on the offensive end and the defensive end."

Parrom added that Jerrett has a physical advantage, too, in his long arms.

"You guys don't look at that, but his arms are long, so on the defensive end, he's going to get a lot of blocks this season," Parrom said. "And offensively, you've seen what he did today. I'm sure you're going to see a lot more as the season progresses. He should be really good for us."

The Wildcats' other freshmen inside left a mark, too. Ashley also had 11 points and five rebounds in Sunday's game, while Tarczewski overcame some early-game shakiness by scoring nine points on 5-of-7 shooting and collecting three rebounds in the second half.

"Kaleb missed some shots close to the basket in the first half, but if you saw him in the second half, I thought he settled down," Miller said. "Anytime those guys get out there, or he gets out there, he's going to continue to get better."

On StarNet: Follow the Cats on Bruce Pascoe's blog at azstarnet.com/pascoe

Up next

• Who: Humboldt State at Arizona, exhibition

• When: 6:30 p.m., Oct. 31

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