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15 ARIZONA

Nov. 12, 2012
Nov. 12, 2012

Table of Contents
Nov. 12, 2012

LEADING OFF
THE MAIL
CHICAGO BEARS
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW
Departments

15 ARIZONA

To three superstar bigs, add a supersub who's glad to be back on the court

Pick a reason to be bullish about Arizona: If you're a recruitnik, it's because the Wildcats added a trio of five-star big men (Kaleb Tarczewski, Brandon Ashley and Grant Jerrett). If you track transfers, it's because they landed senior Mark Lyons from Xavier to fill their void at point guard. If you recall not only how promising swingman Kevin Parrom looked in 2010--11, when Arizona went 30--8 and reached the Elite Eight, but also the cruel tragedies and injuries that spoiled his following season, you like Arizona because Parrom can finally say, "I'm getting back to my normal self."

This is an article from the Nov. 12, 2012 issue

As a sophomore Parrom scored with nearly the same efficiency (a 122.5 ORating) as Derrick Williams (the No. 2 pick in the 2011 draft), and he was expected to have a breakout junior season. But in a three-month span last year, Parrom's grandmother died from cancer; he was shot in the right leg and left hand while in New York City to visit his terminally ill mother, Lisa Williams; and on Oct. 16, Williams passed away from cancer as well. Even though he wasn't back to full health, Parrom insisted on rejoining the team in mid-November, but his shooting plummeted from 50.8% to 40.2%, and he suffered a season-ending broken right foot on Jan. 28.

Physically, Parrom would have been better off redshirting, but mentally he needed to play. Coach Sean Miller says that from talking to Kevin and his father, Kenny, "we felt like taking the team—and the carrot of playing in front of people—away from him could have really broken his spirit."

Parrom averaged 18.5 points during the Wildcats' August exhibition tour of the Bahamas, where Miller says he saw "the true Kevin." This year Parrom could serve as a valuable sixth man in the mold of Darius Miller, who keyed Kentucky's 2012 title run before becoming a second-round draft pick. That sort of season would do even more wonders for Parrom's spirit.

Tournament Tracker

TITLE GAME

FINAL FOUR

ELITE EIGHT

SWEET 16

ROUND OF 32

ROUND OF 64

'08--09

'09--10

'10--11

'11--12

'12--13

Projected Starting Five

COACH Sean Miller (4th season)

2011--12 RECORD 23--12

PAC-12 12--6 (4th)

WHAT'S BACK Minutes: 47.9% Points: 45.6% Rebounds: 46.2%

View this article in the original magazine

PGMark Lyons*6'1"Sr.15.1 ppg2.8 apg
SGNick Johnson6'3"Soph.8.9 ppg3.3 rpg
SFSolomon Hill6'7"Sr.12.9 ppg7.7 rpg
PFGrant Jerrett†6'10"Fr.22.3 ppg10.0 rpg
CKaleb Tarczewski†7'0"Fr.20.7 ppg10.2 rpg
KEY RESERVES
G-FKevin Parrom6'6"Sr.4.9 ppg2.9 rpg
PFBrandon Ashley6'8"Fr.15.3 ppg6.8 rpg

Returning starter

*Xavier stats

†High school stats

Telling Number

3 NATIONAL ranking of Arizona's 2012 recruiting class, making it the highest rated of Sean Miller's career. Kaleb Tarczewski, who was ineligible for the McDonald's All-American game as a fifth-year senior, is the top prospect.

PHOTOCHRIS WILLIAMS/ICON SMIKEVIN PARROM A dismal stretch—two deaths, a shooting and an injury—has the senior swingman eager to make up for lost time.