SALT LAKE CITY – For whatever is left of Kevin Parrom’s ride at Arizona – whether it’s eight games, 12 games or (pending an unexpected NCAA approval of a fifth year) another season --- he may do it as a starter.
UA coach Sean Miller said after today’s game that he would “probably” stick with the lineup he used today at Utah, with Parrom at small forward, Solomon Hill at power forward and Brandon Ashley coming off the bench.
Miller said he wasn’t disappointed in Ashley so much as he wanted to insert Parrom, and taking out Ashley was the most logical way to do it. The others would involve having Ashley play center for Kaleb Tarczewski or Parrom booting Solomon Hill or Nick Johnson out of their jobs, things that simply aren’t going to happen.
“If you insert Kevin, you can only insert from that position,” Miller said, later adding: “We’re at the end of the road here, he’s a senior, and we’re going to ride the guys who have the most to gain and the most to lose.
“(Mark) Lyons, Hill and Parrom, to me, are the three guys who can start the game the best way and start the second half the best way.”
Parrom went scoreless with only one rebound in the first half but finished the game with six points in the final four minutes.
More importantly, perhaps, to Miller was that the Wildcats outscored Utah before the first media timeout of both halves.
Ashley and Grant Jerrett played well in reserve for Arizona, but Miller is seeking more help from the bench. Angelo Chol had two points on 1-for-5 shooting with one rebound in 10 minutes while Jordin Mayes was yanked for good after he badly missed a first-half three-pointer.
“One thing that’s hurting us we have to get better play from our bench,” Miller said. “If you’re me, you’re scared to sub in the second half and as we ride those five starters, late in February, sometimes fatigue can set in. Even with their best intentions, to me, we’re not the fresher team, we’re the more tired team. And that starts with guys coming in off the bench playing better.”
Miller said again he would play Gabe York going forward, even as he declined to today without Mayes effectively around. York has not played in Arizona’s past four games.
“It would have been tough to put him in in the second half, after he didn’t play in the first half,” Miller said of York. “But we need someone to come in off the bench and make shots and play well.”
Here's the box score.
Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak is quoted in the Salt Lake Tribune as saying he was proud of the Utes.