Arizona basketball: Wildcats-Miners scouting report

2012-11-15T00:00:00Z 2014-08-01T11:21:45Z Arizona basketball: Wildcats-Miners scouting reportBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 15, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Projected Starters

Arizona

• G Mark Lyons (6-1, sr.)

• G Nick Johnson (6-3, so.)

• F Solomon Hill (6-7, sr.)

• F Grant Jerrett (6-10, fr.)

• C Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, fr.)

UTEP

• G Jalen Ragland (6-6, so.)

• G Jacques Streeter (6-0, sr.)

• F Cedrick Lang (6-9, so.)

• F Julian Washburn (6-7, so.)

• C John Bohannon (6-10, jr.)

Sidelines

First day of signing period quiet

The first day of the weeklong signing period came and went quietly at Arizona, with the Wildcats in the process of adding at least two high school seniors. Guard Elliott Pitts signed his letter of intent Wednesday night at De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., according to his high school coach, Frank Allocco. UA's other committed fall recruit, forward Rondae Jefferson of Chester, Pa., said on Twitter that he would sign his letter of intent today.

Arizona has two more remaining scholarships available for next season but may wind up holding them until the spring, when five-star forward Aaron Gordon is expected to make a decision. Kameron Rooks, the 6-11 son of former UA player Sean Rooks, has been offered a scholarship to Arizona if he decides in the spring - though he is seriously considering Washington after visiting the Huskies last weekend, Sean Rooks said.

Floyd, Pasternack are no strangers

It was a no-brainer for UA coach Sean Miller to assign assistant Joe Pasternack to scout the Miners. A native of New Orleans, Pasternack befriended Floyd when Floyd coached the University of New Orleans, came across him often when he was an assistant at Cal and Floyd was a head coach at New Orleans, and sought advice during 2009-10 when Pasternack was coach at the University of New Orleans and Floyd was an assistant with the Hornets. "He was great to me when I was at New Orleans," Pasternack said. Floyd said he was disappointed that Pasternack had to deal with New Orleans' downsizing of its program in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. "I think he's going to be a star in our business," Floyd said. "He was one of the great recruiters."

UTEP guard, UA freshman go way back

Even though he's from Southern California, UTEP guard C.J. Cooper will be enjoying a homecoming of sorts tonight, with his parents, sister and uncle on hand along with a lifelong good friend … who will be on the other bench. Cooper and UA freshman forward Grant Jerrett have played together since third grade and were teammates at La Verne (Calif.) Lutheran High School, where Cooper's uncle, former Wildcat Eric Cooper, was the coach. "We've been really close since we were little," C.J. said.

HOW THEY MATCH UP

• The series: Former rivals in the Border Conference and WAC, Arizona and UTEP have played each other 89 times, but not since 1995. The UA won the last meeting, 90-70.

• UTEP overview: In his third season with the Miners, coach Tim Floyd is molding them into a team with his characteristic defensive toughness and offensive versatility. As a young team last season, the Miners held opponents to 63.1 points per game, but their offense struggled, and rebounding was a challenge. This season, UTEP has forwards that include returnees Julian Washburn, Cedrick Lang, along with freshmen Chris Washburn (Julian's brother) and Twymond Howard give the Miners a solid inside-outside attack. Point guard Jacques Streeter had a better than 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio last season and was the team's top percentage three-point shooter. Defensively, the Miners are a primarily man-to-man team but will throw in a few wrinkles.

KEY PLAYERS

Julian Washburn

UTEP

The son of former NBA lottery pick Chris Washburn, Julian is a strong defender both inside and out who has the ability to score from all distances. He has struggled to get to the line and make free throws, however.

Solomon Hill

Arizona

Once a USC commit for Tim Floyd, Hill has been slated to play exclusively at small forward but was already shifted to power forward against Charleston Southern because of matchups. Wherever he plays, Hill will also be busy tonight against UTEP's varied attack.

Numbers game

1

UTEP road win last season, but it was at C-USA champ Memphis (60-58)

7

UA blocks against Charleston Southern, exactly double the Wildcats' average per game last season

316

Miles between McKale Center and UTEP's Don Haskins Center, even though the two teams haven't met in 17 years

He said it

"They're tough-minded, and they have a really good inside-out combination. It's very similar to what (Tim Floyd) has had since New Orleans - his teams play hard, are well coached and terrific defensively."

UA assistant coach Joe Pasternack, who scouted the Miners

UTEP (1-0) at No. 12 Arizona (1-0) • at McKale Center • 8 p.m. today • FSAZ • 1290-AM, 107.5-FM, 990-AM (Spanish)

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