Arizona Basketball

Parrom’s play lifts Wildcats before Johnson saves Christmas for Cats with blocked shot

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G: Games played. S: Number of starts.
BP: Bench points. A player gets three points if he is first off the bench, two if second and one if third. Shows Sean Miller’s rotation.
SDS: Productivity points against San Diego State
SMIN: Minutes played against San Diego State
PP: Productivity Points (Points, assists, rebounds, steals, blocked shots, FGs made, FTs made added together and then subtracted by missed FGs, missed FTs, personal fouls and turnovers)
TMIN: Minutes played overall
PR: Productivity rating per minute played (Productivity points divided by minutes played)
NOTE: Player must average at least 10 minutes a game to be listed in primary rotation

Kevin Parrom kisses the Diamond Head Classic trophy after the Wildcats' win over San Diego State (Parrom Facebook picture)

Kevin Parrom kisses the Diamond Head Classic trophy after the Wildcats’ win over San Diego State (Parrom Facebook picture)

Indicative of how Arizona coach Sean Miller has many options:

Kevin Parrom was the most productive against San Diego State on Christmas night, but Nick Johnson grabbed the headlines with his game-saving blocked shot while Solomon Hill took home the tournament MVP.

And it was Mark Lyons’ two free throws with 13 seconds remaining that gave Arizona the 68-67 lead that Johnson preserved with his block of Chase Tapley’s attempt with three seconds remaining.

Parrom followed a productive performance against Miami on Sunday night with a strong showing against San Diego State, posting 28 productivity points in 26 minutes. Parrom scored 17 points for the Wildcats, including a three-pointer from the baseline with 2:16 remaining that answered a three-pointer by Tapley.

“It was very intense,” Johnson is quoted as saying by the Associated Press. “They’re the No. 17 team in the country. We knew they were a good team coming in. We knew we would have to give it our all and stay in the game plan and in the end, it came up big.”

The third-ranked Wildcats are 12-0 for the first time since the 1987-88 Final Four team started 12-0 en route to a 35-3 season. Their regular-season non-conference schedule is complete. The UA opens its Pac-12 schedule at McKale Center against Colorado on Jan. 3.

The last time Arizona went unbeaten in its regular-season non-conference schedule was in 1942-43 when Fred Enke Sr.’s group went 6-0 against non-Border Conference teams in its 22-2 season.

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Enke’s 1931-32 team has the best start in UA history at 16-0.

The longest winning streak in Arizona history is 19 games, accomplished in 1992-93 and 1997-98.

This was also the first time a Miller-coached team has beaten San Diego State, which won the two previous meetings in the 2009-10 and 2011-12 seasons. And it is also Miller’s first tournament title at Arizona after losing in two Pac-12 title games against Washington and Colorado the last two seasons and a Coaches vs. Cancer championship to Mississippi State last season.


Sean Miller  credits San Diego State's defense more than he is critical of Arizona's shooting

Sean Miller credits San Diego State’s defense more than he is critical of Arizona’s shooting

The victory over San Diego State was not pretty. Arizona won despite shooting 5-of-20 from three-point range and 37.3 percent from the field (including only 29.4 percent in the first half). The Aztecs, the most athletic team Arizona has played to date, contested nearly every shot.

“I don’t think we had a bad shooting night,” Miller told the Associated Press. “I think we played a great defense.”

Arizona lost the rebounding battle for only the third time this season. San Diego State out-rebounded the Wildcats 32-30. Arizona’s freshman big men — Kaleb Tarczewski, Grant Jerrett and Brandon Ashley — struggled much like they did against Florida on Dec. 15.

They combined for only 14 productivity points in 62 minutes. Against Florida, they had eight in 61 minutes.

Defensive Rebounding Percentage (DRB%): Determined by dividing Arizona’s defensive rebounds (19 against San Diego State) by the opposition’s offensive rebounds (San Diego State had 11) added to Arizona’s defensive rebounds (19) — 19/(11 + 19) = 63.3 percent.

Offensive Rebounding Percentage (ORB%): Determined by taking Arizona’s offensive rebound total (13) divided by that total (13) and the defensive rebounds of the opponent (23 for San Diego State) — 13/(13 + 23) = 36.1 percent.

Ideal marks are 75 percent DRB% and 40 percent ORB%.

NEXT UP: Colorado at Arizona, Jan. 3
Arizona 68, San Diego State 67
— Kevin Parrom 28 PP/26 MIN
Arizona 69, Miami 50
— Kevin Parrom 21 PP/21 MIN
Arizona 73, East Tennessee State 53
— Brandon Ashley 27 PP/22 MIN
Arizona 89, Oral Roberts 64
— Grant Jerrett 24 PP/21 MIN
Arizona 65, Florida 64
— Solomon Hill 31 PP/37 MIN
Arizona 66, Clemson 54
— Mark Lyons 30 PP/33 MIN
Arizona 63, Southern Mississippi 55
— Kevin Parrom 19 PP/30 MIN
Arizona 85, Texas Tech 57
— Solomon Hill 26 PP/26 MIN
Arizona 93, NAU 50
— Nick Johnson 27 PP/22 MIN
Arizona 94, Long Beach State 72
— Brandon Ashley 40 PP/24 MIN
Arizona 72, UTEP 51
— Mark Lyons 21 PP/25 MIN
Arizona 82, Charleston Southern 73
— Brandon Ashley 26 PP/24 MIN

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Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner


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