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Arizona Basketball: One spot in starting lineup is unsettled

2012-10-27T00:00:00Z 2013-09-10T15:17:33Z Arizona Basketball: One spot in starting lineup is unsettledBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
October 27, 2012 12:00 am  • 

After two weeks of full practices, Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller has a pretty good idea of what his first starting lineup will look like.

But he doesn't know what it will look like a month or two from now.

Miller said during a news conference Friday that Solomon Hill is a certain starter for UA's exhibition on Wednesday against Humboldt State and that freshman forward Grant Jerrett is likely to start.

Combine those two with possible starters in the backcourt such as veterans Nick Johnson and Mark Lyons, and only one post spot could be a big question: Does Jerrett play center, with Brandon Ashley at power forward? Or does Jerrett play power forward, with Kaleb Tarczewski at center?

In one sense, it doesn't matter. Things may change quickly, Miller indicated, with a team as balanced and deep as this year's Wildcats.

"I could see us going through the month of November (with one lineup) and then get into December and the dynamic changes," Miller said. "With the team we have, I think things will evolve and change. I don't think we will have a set five starters. We really have eight or nine players where there's not a lot of difference between them."

Miller said only Hill, an All-Pac-12 player last season, has really distanced himself significantly from his teammates. Hill has shown a commitment and focus that Miller said was like the way Kyle Fogg approached his senior season a year ago.

"Watching Solomon now, he's focused, he's better, he's ready, he's hungry to leave a winner and words can only do so much," Miller said. "It's actions that are more powerful. How Solomon has approached every drill, every day is really inspiring for our team. I'm proud of the way he's established his attitude early on."

Miller also said Jerrett has been making a significant move, too, even as a freshman, displaying versatility and a strong character that are overcoming his late arrival in Tucson in July.

"Kaleb throughout the summer really was that" top post player, Miller said. "Then as we approached later in the summer, you could see Brandon Ashley. Grant wasn't here early in the summer, but I would say over the first month here and these two weeks of practice, he's really established himself as someone we're going to count on."

Wildcats ranked No. 12

UA was ranked No. 12 in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 released Friday, just one spot ahead of Pac-12 rival UCLA. No other Pac-12 teams are ranked and Florida (10) is the only ranked team on UA's nonconference schedule.

Miller welcomed the ranking, but was also aware that the Wildcats were ranked No. 16 before last season - which ended in the first round of the NIT.

"A year ago we had a real inflated preseason ranking and a lot of it had to do with what we had done a year before," Miller said. "I would rather people feel good about what we're doing and give us credit at this time of year but clearly it's up to us to earn it with our performance."

Tickets remaining

UA has about 200 season tickets remaining, according James Francis, UA's senior associate AD for external operations.

Tickets are available in most areas of McKale Center, ranging from $399 to $2,075 each, counting the "priority" premium required for most tickets. UA sells about 11,200 of McKale's 14,545 seats on a season basis because there is a 2,400-seat student section and other seats are held for various reasons.

Francis said UA is in a good position with its sales but he also did not want to leave an impression that tickets are unattainable.

Up next

• Who: Humboldt St. at Arizona, exhibition

• When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday

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