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:

7.5

Points per game

6.5

Rebounds per game

4.0

Turnovers per game

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Arizona 0 0 0 0.000 12 1 0 0.923
Washington 0 0 0 0.000 11 0 0 1.000
California 0 0 0 0.000 10 2 0 0.833
Oregon 0 0 0 0.000 9 3 0 0.750
Utah 0 0 0 0.000 9 2 0 0.818
UCLA 0 0 0 0.000 8 4 0 0.667
Arizona State 0 0 0 0.000 8 5 0 0.615
Colorado 0 0 0 0.000 7 4 0 0.636
USC 0 0 0 0.000 7 4 0 0.636
Stanford 0 0 0 0.000 7 3 0 0.700
Oregon State 0 0 0 0.000 7 3 0 0.700
Washington State 0 0 0 0.000 5 6 0 0.455

AP Top 25


Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Harvard at
Arizona State
12/28 12:00 pm
Cal State-Bakersfield at
California
12/28 1:30 pm
Cal-Davis at
Washington State
12/28 4:00 pm
UCLA at
Alabama
12/28 4:30 pm
Stony Brook at
Washington
12/28 6:00 pm
Arkansas-Pine Bluff at
Stanford
12/29 9:00 pm
Cal-Irvine at
Oregon
12/29 9:00 pm
UC-Santa Barbara at
Oregon State
12/30 7:30 pm
Carroll (Mont.) at
Utah
12/30 7:30 pm
Vermont at
USC
12/30 9:30 pm
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