Bruce Pascoe checks in with injury updates and more surrounding the Arizona basketball program before the Wildcats take off for Salt Lake City.
Williams to remain out this weekend
Guard Brandon Williams will travel to Utah and Colorado this week but will not play because of his lingering right knee injury. UA coach Sean Miller said Williams is now rehabbing the knee and remained hopeful again that the freshman could return at some point this season.
"He is getting better," Miller said. "It’s incrementally, not like night and day, but he is making progress which is a good sign for him. I don’t have a timetable on when he’ll return. It’s going to be sometime down the road, if at all."
Sean Miller says Brandon Williams’ right knee has shown some progress. Miller says he doesn’t have a timetable of Williams’ return. pic.twitter.com/72oD8aEwBp
Miller said Tuesday that forward Ryan Luther broke his finger against Iowa State in the Maui Invitational on Nov. 19 despite initially calling it a minor injury to his non-shooting hand.
Luther played through his injury, though he was a combined 0 for 5 from the field against Gonzaga and Auburn in Arizona’s final two Maui games. He wore tape to protect the broken finger but has played in all 24 games this season.
“He played through the injury really from the time that it happened all the way to the end,” Miller said. “I don’t think he missed a day of practice but he was limited in what he had to do.”
Randolph trying to retool
Because he’s the Wildcats’ leading scorer, sophomore wing Brandon Randolph draws a lot of attention from opposing defenses.
That’s part of the reason why Miller says his shooting is off, with Randolph missing 17 of 20 shots he took last weekend against the Washington schools.
“It’s different to come off the bench on a talented team and be the starter, the player playing the most minutes,” Miller said. “You’re kind of the hunted on the other team’s scouting report. They’re going to go to great lengths to make things hard for you. That’s also something he’s learning and we’re trying to help him with.”
Miller said he’s also trying to work with Randolph in being consistent with the way he shoots the ball, similar to how Allonzo Trier progressed during his three-year UA career.
Trier was “a driver, a capable shooter (early in his UA career) but he worked so hard on his shooting and then he worked hard on how to be smart on his shooting,” Miller said.
“He had a routine. His footwork was identical on every shot that he shot. And he didn’t deviate from it and over time that works out.
“Brandon in that same process of learning now important it is to shoot the ball one way before and after practice and then shot selection is big, too. The more wide-open shots you take, the higher percentage that you can make and you forget how young of a guy he is, and the experience level playing against these different defenses.”