After four high-profile seasons with the Arizona Wildcats, Solomon Hill may not be able to show NBA scouts a whole lot these days than they haven’t already seen on the court.
It’s in their offices, during interviews around private team workouts, where Hill could be making a difference.
“He’s killing that,” said Chris Emens, Hill’s agent. “He’s serious but not serious in a (negative) way. He’s focused. Most guys who have done 10 workouts by now would be waving the white flag and asking to go home but I think he’s enjoying it.
"He’s able to have an intelligent discussion about basketball philosophy in front of executives who’ve been doing it for 25 years. He’s confident in who he is as a person. He’s the kind of guy people sit down with and say `You know what? My coach is going to trust this guy.’ “
Saying he believes Hill’s projected draft range is now about 25 to 40, Emens said Hill has also been showing some things on the court, too, trying to showcase himself as a small forward.
“He entered college really as a post player and he’s really convinced teams that he’s a true wing at this point,” Emens said. “He’s been shooting the three well from the corner, and that’s where he’s probably going to get most of his looks at the next level.
“People realize that Solomon is a guy who he doesn’t do anything great but he does everything well and he’s a guy from a personality standpoint who’s going to fit into a role.”
Jay Bilas, for one, ranks Hill as the No. 10 small forward in the draft pool.
A few people asked me via Twitter why Sean Miller didn't want a raise for the added year on his contract, which now runs through 2017-18.
I believe he mostly wanted the five-year length for recruiting purposes and wasn't concerned about the money: Even though coaching contracts can be altered or broken by either side, it's always an advantage to tell recruits and their parents that they have five years left.
Asking for a raise could create more waves, especially since Miller was extended after the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. And Miller has already shown money does not drive all his decisions, having pulled away from interest from Maryland and North Carolina State.
Miller also used his Elite Eight leverage in 2011 mostly to push for bonuses for his assistants (they received $17,000 for the Sweet 16 this season) while Greg Byrne offered a $100,000 salary escalator clause from 2011 through 2016.
FWIW, the new deal also gives Miller a little more security: Since he's now past the fourth year of his tenure, if he is fired without cause at any point, he receives half of all remaining salary and peripheral compensation (he's scheduled to receive $1.5 million in salary and $700,000 for peripheral duties in 2017-18, so that means he's guaranteed an extra $1.1 million because of this extension).
One final thing that we all probably know: This contract will probably be altered significantly again if Miller leads the Wildcats to a Final Four or title in the next few seasons...
Also FWIW, the executive summary forwarded to the Regents about Miller's contract noted the usual clause that his salary is paid entirely by revenue generated by the athletic department -- and referred to the recent Pac-12/Ed Rush/Miller investigation this way:
"Based on due diligence, the University has no knowledge that Miller has violated NCAA rules or otherwise engaged in wrongdoing, and there is no litigation related to his employment as coach. Miller was recently involved in a press controversy after the Pac-12 Conference fined him for protesting a technical foul. Both the foul and the fine have been widely criticized, and the conference has retained private counsel to review the underlying circumstances."
The counsel, Ice Miller, LLP, found Rush used improper methods to get his officials to more closely monitor Miller while it also detailed Miller's postgame outbursts after the Wildcats lost to UCLA in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals.
ICYMI, we had a preview of the USA U19 tryouts as well as a note on how Emens is now representing Mark Lyons instead of Brian Dyke.