Tag Archives: Book Richardson

Waxing Seniority: Kevin Parrom

With the regular season now wrapped and the Pac-12’s seniors having played their final home games, we’re taking a tour across the conference and bidding this group of seniors farewell.

Brad Hill has been a Wildcat fan and close friend since the beginning of time and contributes to PacHoops always.

As fans we don’t remember career averages, point totals, assist to turnover ratios, or even records. Over time, what really stands out in our memory are the players. Of course some of the best players to come through the U of A had great numbers worthy of memory, but some of the most memorable players didn’t have great numbers. Did you know that Eugene Edgerson averaged less than 5 points a game during his career? Probably not. Do you remember Gene’s afro, knee pads, and the energy he brought into every minute he played? Definitely.

Kevin Parrom is a memorable player. His numbers don’t jump off the stat sheet, but they are solid—he is quietly shooting 41% from behind the arc this year. However, it’s not the numbers that make Kevin Parrom a memorable Wildcat. Fans will remember Kevin Parrom for his toughness on (and off) the court, his courage and perseverance, and the undeniable impact he had on every game he played.

Kevin Parrom will always be remembered for announcing the beginning of the Sean Miller era of Arizona Basketball. Fans have come to expect Miller’s teams to be typified by hard nosed, gritty, and defensive-minded basketball players. Kevin Parrom announced that style of play on January 23, 2010. On that date, Wildcat fans will remember Parrom racing down the court to stop the Sun Devil’s Ty Abbot from making an easy dunk and igniting a raucous Wells Fargo Arena crowd. Kevin leapt up, reached for the ball, and fouled Ty Abbot—hard.

Parrom wasn’t trying to injure Abbot, but he was going to make sure he earned those points. Parrom later tweeted: “No easy buckets.” Does anything encapsulate the Sean Miller mantra more succinctly or accurately? If I had to pick a phrase to put above the door in the Wildcat’s locker room it would be: “No Easy Buckets.”

But fans also admired Parrom for his courage and perseverance. His junior season has been well documented: in one year he lost his grandmother and mother to cancer, was sidelined by a gunshot wound, and then just when he was getting back to full strength broke his foot. Fans’ hearts and support poured out to this kid, and it showed. When he entered a game for the first time after coming back from the shooting, the crowd stood and cheered as loudly as they had for any victory.  When Parrom was taken out of the game after 18 minutes, six points, four rebounds, and two assists Sean Miller hugged him like you hug your children. It was a moment as indelible as any in the collective memory of Wildcat fans.

ParromMiller

 

My dad told me that one Tucson afternoon a couple weeks ago he had no plans to go to the game against WSU, but after reading an article in SI about Parrom, he said to himself, “I have to go support this guy!” My dad went, Kevin Parrom hit 5 three-point buckets—that’s what fans remember.

Waxing Seniority: Solomon Hill

With the regular season now wrapped and the Pac-12’s seniors having played their final home games, we’re taking a tour across the conference and bidding this group of seniors farewell.

Ezra Amacher is a writer for pointguardu.com covering all angles of the University of Arizona Wildcats. He’s followed Solomon Hill’s entire career.

Solomon Hill

With every ferocious dunk and dagger three pointer, the narrative of Solomon Hill’s four year odyssey at Arizona becomes more fulfilling.

In an era defined by one-and-dones and players feeling self-entitled, the progression of Hill from a freshman to a senior has illustrated a satisfying reminder of all that is still right in college basketball.

When the Los Angeles native re-committed to be a part of Sean Miller’s first recruiting class at Arizona, he likely envisioned himself having a similar route through Tucson as fellow class of 2009 commit Derrick Williams.

But while Williams went on to win Pac-12 Freshman of the Year his rookie season and then transformed into a college superstar as a sophomore, it took Hill a bit longer to mature.

At 6’7, 220 pounds, Hill quickly realized he didn’t quite have the size to physically dominate in the way Williams did. Instead, under the watchful eye of the Arizona strength and conditioning program, he developed into one of the more versatile big men in the Pac-12.

Off the court, Hill bought into a structured lifestyle that included avoiding many of the distractions that often consume college students. On the court, it has translated to eye-catching results that could catch the eyes of some NBA scouts.

In nearly every statistical category, there is a near-linear progression from his freshman through senior years. None may be more attractive than his three point percentage, which has skyrocketed from a dismal 22% his freshman year to around 40% as a junior and senior.

But Kenpom.com or any other stat analyzing site couldn’t portray the true evolution of Hill as a player and a person since he arrived at UofA in the summer of ’09.

Whereas early in his career he was content with being a complimentary piece on offense, Hill has acquired a kill or be killed mentality mixed in with a terrific understanding of game situation. Albeit he is still plagued with occasional inconsistency, he knows when it is time for him to take over or when he should dish it inside to one of the bigs.

Hill has also handled his senior responsibilities remarkably well. It’s not easy to keep together the chemistry of a team loaded with underclassmen but here we are in March and there is still a sense of unity, despite the recent setbacks in conference play.

With the Pac-12 Tournament and the Big Dance around the corner, it’ll be Hill’s Last Hurrah and a chance to seal his legacy in Tucson.

But whether the final destination is Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Atlanta or somewhere else, there will be no disputing what Hill has meant to this program and what Arizona has meant to Hill.

When Hill made the pledge to become a Wildcat – less than a week after Miller left Xavier – he made the biggest gamble any young basketball player can make. It paid off.