LOS ANGELES – Except for Grant Jerrett, who had a towel over his head for most of the 30-minute window that Arizona's locker room was open to the media, the tone was hushed but faintly upbeat after the Wildcats' season ended Thursday.
Arizona lost in the Sweet 16 to Ohio State but still finished its season with 27 wins, and was a game shy of sharing the Pac-12 title.
Jerrett may have put it most typically when he said of his first season at Arizona: “I’m really blessed but also disappointed.”
Judging by his remarks at the interview podium, Sean Miller may have set the tone for his players.
“I couldn't be prouder of our team,” he said. “This is my ninth team I've coached as a head coach. I leave this season with no regrets. These guys as a group, especially these three, they led their team. Not that we're perfect, but we practiced hard. We tried really hard.
"This process started a long, long time ago, and for us to win 27 games and lose in the Sweet Sixteen to Ohio State, we leave here with our head held high.”
Freshmen Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski both complemented the seniors for helping their progress this season.
“Honestly, it’s hard to pinpoint” how they’ve helped, Ashley said. “They’ve helped me in so many ways. They’ve helped me as a person and as a player. They’re definitely going to be missed.”
Added Tarczewski: “I have to thank the seniors for everything they did. I got a chance to learn from them and the coaches. I know for a fact that for myself and on behalf of the other freshmen, that we’re going to come back stronger.”
Senior Solomon Hill, meanwhile, thanked everybody. He said he was disappointed he didn’t get to the Final Four during his four years but was otherwise satisfied.
“It still really hasn’t hit me that it’s my last time wearing an Arizona jersey,” Hill said. “It’s a little different. But I love these guys. It’s been a fun year. We had some ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Kevin Parrom still has a slight chance of getting a fifth year approved if his unusual waiver request is granted. UA is lumping in his foot injuries as well as the time he missed while recovering from a gunshot wound in hopes that the cumulative trouble he missed is worth an extra year.
But Parrom has sounded like it isn’t a big deal to him either way.
“I don’t know. I have no clue,” Parrom said after the OSU game. “I have to talk to coach about what’s going on with my future.”
Here's the full transcript of podium remarks from Miller, Hill, Mark Lyons and Nick Johnson.
Tons of coverage is now posted on our Wildcats page.
Here's the official box score PDF.
Judging by preseason picks -- Arizona was a Top 15 team in October and was barely picked to beat UCLA for the Pac-12 title -- you could say the Wildcats nearly met expectations this season. Though maybe those expectations were raised by the Wildcats' 14-0 start.
Now that it's over, how do you all view the season? Disappointing? About what you expected? Or better?