UA basketball: Hill gets bigger role

Miller wants junior to score more, cut down on turnovers
2011-11-11T00:00:00Z 2014-07-24T10:30:21Z UA basketball: Hill gets bigger roleBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 11, 2011 12:00 am  • 

Solomon Hill has started 59 games in just over two seasons for the Arizona Wildcats and yet, in one sense, he's something of a rookie this season.

That's because Hill is being asked to make among the biggest leaps of all the Wildcats during a season in which they incorporate four talented freshmen and adjust without departed star Derrick Williams.

Hill was Arizona's fourth-leading scorer last season, averaging 8.0 points and 4.7 rebounds, but here's what UA coach Sean Miller would like to see from him in an average game now:

"A double-figure scorer, five to seven rebounds, a couple of steals, 2-1 assist-turnovers - 1-1 at worst - and being a guy who can get to the foul line six times a game," Miller said. "I have no doubt he can do it."

But it may take a while. In two regular-season games so far, Hill is averaging 7.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 3.5 assists and 4.0 turnovers.

The last number rankles the junior forward the most.

"I need to cut back on my turnovers," he said. "Those are killing me."

Miller said the turnovers are partially his fault, having put Hill in a difficult position with the ball at times.

That was an issue on Wednesday against Duquesne, a smaller, aggressive team that lives for the steal.

"We've gotta have a faster push" up the court, Miller said. Having Hill in with "a slower push is almost like asking him to bring the ball up and be the point guard against a team that denies. Solomon is terrific off the dribble and can do a lot of things, but it's up to me as a coach to do things that put him in the best light."

The Wildcats had 20 turnovers in their 67-59 win over Duquesne on Wednesday. While that isn't an unusually high number against the oft-pressing Dukes, the fact that 10 of those turnovers came from veterans Hill and Kyle Fogg bothered Miller.

But again, Miller said, Fogg is not entirely to blame.

"I would have loved to play this game with 12 or 15 turnovers and the one thing Solomon is doing right now doing is turning it over," Miller said. "As a coaching staff we have to help him a little bit. We may not be putting him in the best position right now. Same with Kyle. Kyle played terrific in his first game but six turnovers is a lot for a senior guard."

Hill says he's "not rushing it," and that he was happy to have been able to dish to the hot-shooting Jordin Mayes during the Duquesne game.

But still, it may be inevitable to feel some pressure in Hill's position.

"He's certainly pressing a little bit and he knows he has a bigger role," Miller said. "Nobody wants to play well more than him but a couple of things in the first half (Wednesday), I could sense maybe he was struggling with his confidence.

"But he'll get that back. I'm confident with Solomon as a player. These early games are not just for freshmen to learn… but for our returners as well."

Rim shots

• Miller said forward Kevin Parrom may begin practicing fully this weekend for the first time since being shot on Sept. 24 in the right leg. Parrom may still have a chance to play Thursday at Madison Square Garden in his hometown, though Miller is being cautious. "I do think he makes us a better team, especially if he can regain his form," Miller said. "But we all know, when you don't practice for seven weeks and you have a gunshot wound, you're probably not going to start off where everyone wants you to."

• Sports Illustrated ranked Arizona No. 18 in its preview edition, three spots behind UCLA, the highest ranked Pac-12 team.

• Former UA forward Fendi Onobun has been added to the Washington Redskins' practice squad. He has also been with Seattle and St. Louis.

Up next

• What: Ball State at Arizona

• When: 4 p.m. Sunday

• TV: FSAZ, Channel 58

• Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM

HILL's Stats

Where the junior, below, stands through two games:


Points per game


Rebounds per game


Turnovers per game

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Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Utah 6 1 0 0.857 16 3 0 0.842
Arizona 6 1 0 0.857 18 2 0 0.900
Stanford 5 2 0 0.714 14 5 0 0.737
Oregon State 5 2 0 0.714 13 5 0 0.722
Oregon 4 3 0 0.571 14 6 0 0.700
UCLA 3 4 0 0.429 11 9 0 0.550
Colorado 3 4 0 0.429 10 8 0 0.556
Washington 3 4 0 0.429 14 5 0 0.737
Washington State 3 4 0 0.429 9 10 0 0.474
Arizona State 2 5 0 0.286 11 10 0 0.524
California 1 6 0 0.143 11 9 0 0.550
USC 1 6 0 0.143 9 10 0 0.474

AP Top 25

Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Oregon State at
Arizona State
1/28 6:00 pm
Oregon at
1/28 8:00 pm
Stanford at
1/28 9:00 pm
Colorado at
1/29 7:30 pm
Utah at
1/29 8:00 pm
California at
Washington State
1/29 9:00 pm
Oregon at
Arizona State
1/30 6:00 pm
Oregon State at
1/30 8:00 pm
Stanford at
Washington State
1/31 6:00 pm
Colorado at
1/31 8:30 pm
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