2015-16 Countdown

Arizona Wildcats hoops countdown: We’re at 37 days and counting to tipoff


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Symbolic of Sean Miller putting the utmost importance on “The Process”, he awards players for their performances more so after practices than games.

The “Gold Jersey” — signifying the best practice players — has become an Arizona basketball staple, a motivational tool Miller brought with him from Xavier.

“We give gold jerseys out for the best practice players through a five, six, seven day stretch,” Miller explained last season. “Everything’s categorized and kept as a statistic so it’s not like a coaches’ vote.”

The wearer of the gold jersey with Arizona four days into its practices, is senior Ryan Anderson, a power forward transfer from Boston College. Anderson has the work ethic, talent, effervescent personality and high basketball IQ to become one of Miller’s most valuable players since the coach arrived in Tucson in 2009.

The supreme gold-jersey player was Solomon Hill, according to Miller in an interview with PacersBlogs.com in 2013.

“Solomon probably held the gold jersey for the last three years 90 percent of the time,” Miller said. “Again, it’s a credit to his motor, to his will, to his competitive fire. He’s on a quest to win. He doesn’t take plays off. He doesn’t take days off. And he takes nothing for granted.”

It was noted last year that T.J. McConnell and Kaleb Tarczewski wore the gold jersey a great deal. Gabe York began last season wearing it.

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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:
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