When a referee approached Solomon Hill last week at USC, that’s when the Arizona Wildcats’ recent struggles really hit home for the senior forward.

A crowd of 4,207 had showed up at the Galen Center to watch a costly 89-78 UA loss, and at least half of them were trying to root for the Wildcats.

“It’s kind of disrespectful the way we’re playing when you have the ref come up to me and say, ‘You guys have more fans here than they do,’ ” Hill said. “That’s a big reason why I chose Arizona. It’s a huge basketball town and you have huge basketball support.”

That fan support, and what Hill called UA’s rep as an “NBA factory,” was why Hill stayed committed to the Wildcats until the day Lute Olson retired in October 2008 – and why he recommitted after UA hired Sean Miller in April 2009.

For the Wildcats’ other scholarship four-year senior, Kevin Parrom, the initial draw wasn’t the fans. It was coach Sean Miller, whom the New Yorker committed to at Xavier and then followed over to Arizona.

Read more about the seniors in Thursday's Arizona Daily Star.