Mark Lyons is by far the oldest Arizona player on the roster this season, and he’ll also have the ball in his hands a lot of the time.
That could make him a logical candidate to be the Wildcats’ leader. But coach Sean Miller doesn’t see him as the only leader. Far from it, in fact.
For one thing, Lyons is a newcomer, having transferred from Xavier over the summer. For another, there’s a fourth-year Wildcat player back who just happened to make all Pac-12 last season.
His name, of course, is Solomon Hill. He’s the first player Miller brought up when I asked him about Lyons’ possible leadership this season.
“Solomon is a natural leader,” Miller said. “He’s a returning all Pac-12 player, he’s led by example for many years and he has a lot at stake in his last year. But one person can’t do it alone. Mark Lyons can chip in and Nick Johnson, one of our more vocal leaders. And Jordin Mayes has more experience. Kevin (Parrom) is another senior who leads by example."
Still, there’s no dobut that Lyons will make an impact. Miller said he was told of Lyons’ competitive desire to win early during his recruitment for Xavier, where Lyons sat out the 2008-09 season as a redshirt under Miller. But Lyons, who says he sounded out UA players on whether he was wanted before he even chose to transfer, has been carefully trying to fit in.
“I don’t think he’s tried to force himself on our team,” Miller said. “He’s a pretty smart kid. Having been on a number of teams, he knows it takes times to develop relationships and trust.”
Some walk-on notes from Miller’s media address this week:
Of guard Jacob Hazzard, Miller said:
“He’s a great student who comes from a fantastic family. Had a key role at Loyola High School (in Los Angeles) last year on a very good team and those are the types of people you want in those roles because it’s a difficult role.”
Miller also said that Robert Arvizu, a walk-on guard for the past two seasons, has left UA to attend school in Phoenix with plans to possible re-enroll at UA in the future. Miller said he did not know if Arvizu would return to the Wildcats if so. (I have not been able to reach Arvizu for comment).
Most of Miller's media day comments are in this UA-provided transcript.
The NCAA is working to improve the way the block/charge decision is made by officials.
Reggie Geary is confident in his Yokohama team despite having many new faces this season in Japan.
Colorado is hosting "Buffs Madness" tonight at the Coors Events Center.
UA recruiting target Isaiah Briscoe will check out "Orange Madness" tonight at Syracuse. He is scheduled to attend the Red-Blue Game next weekend.
After a cancer scare before last season, Cal's Mike Montgomery is ready to go.