Duquesne postgame: Should Mayes start?

2011-11-10T01:10:00Z 2011-11-10T06:39:44Z Duquesne postgame: Should Mayes start?Bruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star

By looking only at the stats, you might expect Jordin Mayes to be the starting point guard Sunday against Ball State regardless of whether Josiah Turner shows up on time for basketball functions.

Over the Wildcats' first two games, Mayes averaged 13.5 points while shooting 9 for 17 from the field, hitting 6 of 11 three-pointers, with one assist, three turnovers and three steals.

Turner averaged 3.5 points, shooting a collective 1-for-7, missing all three three-pointers, with four assists and four turnovers. He played 21 minutes in both games; Mayes played 18 against Valparaiso and 27 against Duquesne.

Mayes led Arizona with 19 points Wednesday while starting in place of Turner, who had shown up late for a pregame shootaround. And UA coach Sean Miller said it is possible that Mayes keeps starting.

"We have to see," Miller said. "A lot of that will be determined with practice. Certainly that's a possibility."

Of course, in one sense, it really doesn't matter much. Mayes will earn time in many UA lineups, and he may play more often with Turner as he did against the Dukes.

"That's been our plan all along," Miller said. "Jordin is just more confident now and he's shooting the ball well. You could make the case he won the game for us with his timely threes."

Besides, the competition appears to be good for Mayes. He had MoMo Jones to try to steal minutes from last season and now he has both Turner in front of him and the possibility of earning more time at shooting guard.

"We're going to compete regardless of who is starting," Turner said. "He came in with a big name but there are a lot of great players in college basketball. He's going to get better and I'm just trying to help him the best way I can."

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Miller broke down how his four freshmen are doing after two exhibitions and two regular-season games:

"I'm not going to criticize any of our freshmen because all freshmen have different lines of improvement," Miller said. "Angelo Chol is being thrust into a role -- I love the way he's playing. Do I think he can get better? No doubt about it.

"Nick Johnson has been our most consistent player. He learned today about fouling and the ball didn't go down for him as much, playing against a frenetic team. But he's going to keep feeling more comfortable. And I think he's going to have a dynamic freshman year.

"Josiah right now is learning what the college game is about. He's working hard every day, translating his talent from where he is to our team and moving forward.

"And Sidiki Johnson, right now, I hope he can keep improving so we can use him inside but he's not ready right now.

"That's not the story of Arizona basketball. It's about the team, learning and I'm going to say it a lot: With this year's team, it's not where you start, it's where you finish. This early tournament is a gift for us because we're getting game experience, we're learning a lot about our team, and we had a chance to get two wins."

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Kevin Parrom's improvement continues to speed along, and Miller said he could begin practicing fully this weekend (so he continues to have a chance to make a homecoming appearance next Thursday at Madison Square Garden).

"I can only hope Kevin, with all the bad things that have happened to him, can return to form," Miller said. "I think there's maybe a chance he can start practicing here this weekend. I do think he makes us a better team especially if he can regain his form.

"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."

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Miller said he tried to play his best five players - the small lineup, featuring Nick Johnson at guard and Jesse Perry at center -- for the final half Wednesday.

But he sure would have liked to have had a healthy Parrom on the floor too, considering the pressing Duquense was doing.

Kyle Fogg had six turnovers and Solomon Hill had four, and Miller found those numbers too high for veteran players, though he shouldered some of the blame himself.

"We may not be putting (Hill) in the best position right now," Miller said. "Same with Kyle. Kyle played terrific in his first game but six turnovers is a lot for a senior guard. You look at our 20 turnovers, 10 of them came from two guys. I know we'll work with them on that.

"We need Solomon, Jesse and Kyle to be playing well and leading this team. They are clearly the leaders of our team this year."

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After it was recalculated because of in-game computer issues, Arizona's official boxscore was posted here.

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Our coverage today: A game story focusing on Jordin Mayes and Arizona's small lineup, a sidebar on Duquesne, Greg Hansen's column, seen-and-heard notes and a photo gallery.

There's also a signing day story updating the plans of Kaleb Tarczewski, Gabe York, Brandon Ashley and Grant Jerrett.

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Meanwhile, it looks like Fendi Onobun is now getting a shot with the Redskins (he's been with the Rams and Seahawks so far)...

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