Arizona might get to renew its rivalry with San Diego State in the Maui Invitational next season, but it could take some work to get there.
The Wildcats will open against Missouri at 3 p.m. on Nov. 24 in the first round of the prestigious early season event, whose bracket was released Wednesday, and the winner of that game will face Purdue or potentially ranked Kansas State on Nov. 25.
San Diego State is on the opposite side of the Maui bracket — along with BYU, Pittsburgh and Chaminade — meaning the Wildcats and Aztecs could only meet for the championship on Nov. 26 or in a consolation game earlier that day.
Arizona and SDSU have faced off every year but one since Sean Miller took over the Wildcats’ program in 2009, with Arizona holding a 3-2 edge after winning the last three. This season, the Wildcats and Aztecs again could be the West’s two best teams.
If Arizona beats Missouri, it would play at 5:30 p.m. against either K-State or Purdue on Nov. 25 and at 8 p.m. in the championship game on Nov. 26.
Arizona also will host Cal State Northridge in an “opening game” on Nov. 16 at McKale Center and UA will move on to Maui regardless of that result. The opening games give teams a chance to play four games over the course of the event, which only counts for three individual games toward the NCAA scheduling maximum.
Arizona has played in five previous Maui Invitationals. The Wildcats have reached the finals three times, winning it all in 2000 after beating Illinois 79-76.
The Wildcats last played in the Maui Invitational during Miller’s first season at UA in 2009, going 1-2 with an overtime win over Colorado and losses to Wisconsin and Vanderbilt.
Parrom heads home
After helping his Asarco team to the championship game of the Tucson Summer Pro League last weekend, former UA wing Kevin Parrom headed home to New York on Monday to visit family and figure out his next step.
Parrom spent his first pro season of 2013-14 in the NBA Development League with Rio Grande Valley, but said he’s hoping to play in Europe this time.
“The month of August and beginning of September is when stuff happens so I have to wait and see and be ready,” Parrom said.
“Right now, I’m just happy to play. But I want to eventually make my way up in Europe. I want to be in the best situation I can.”
Parrom spent most of this summer working out in Tucson, sometimes at UA’s Richard Jefferson Gym. He said he used the TPSL play mostly for cardio workouts but found it enjoyable. Asarco lost in the championship game Sunday to Clausen & Moore.
“It’s fun coming out and playing with local Tucson people, having fun,” Parrom said.
Trier moving up
While most recruiting analysts have new UA commit Allonzo Trier ranked in the 10-20 range among 2015 prospects, Hoop Scoop publisher Clark Francis said he’s moving Trier up to No. 2, behind only forward Ben Simmons, after his play this summer.
Trier averaged 29.8 points and 4.3 rebounds in Nike EYBL competition while playing for Athletes First of Oklahoma.
“Most people have Allonzo a lot lower, but … boy is he good at driving to the basket and picking up fouls,” Francis said. “When he was younger, he was so small he was a point guard and now he’s got great court vision, good court awareness and good passing skills.”
Francis said he remembers Trier as a sixth-grader who stood just five feet tall, when “everybody was writing him off.” At that age, Francis said, a player’s eventual height is a mystery but his heart is not.
“When Allonzo was in the sixth grade, he said ‘I religiously make 600 jump shots a day,’” Francis said, later adding: “What makes Allonzo Trier special is he’s got that Kevin Durant-Kevin Garnett ‘I’m going to beat you no matter what,’ that burning desire. And that, at an early age, you can tell.”
It’s summertime (finally)
After a summer of camps, workouts and classes, the Wildcats are scheduled for a final practice today before they have a chance to get away for 10 days or more.
Ryan Reynolds, UA director of basketball operations, said all players have been enrolled in the second summer session and practicing over the past month except Jacob Hazzard, who is leaving for China for the Pac-12 exhibition tour, and fellow walk-on Drew Mellon.
Reynolds said several players are finishing up summer classes this week and leaving this weekend while the rest will leave next Wednesday. UA players are scheduled to return on Aug. 23.