In his pocket
UA coach Sean Miller has two remaining scholarships for the 2013 class but says he'll keep one open for a possible transfer.
That's an increasing trend for coaches, especially with the larger number of transfers every year, plus the rule that graduated players with eligibility remaining are allowed to play immediately, as UA guard Mark Lyons did after he transferred from Xavier over the summer.
"It's kind of the way college basketball has become, and you have to adjust to the times," Miller said. "We certainly have a strategy in place, whether it's in recruiting or in adding quality walk-ons, so that there's not a significant dropoff from one season to the next."
Another reason to save
Miller said he is also keeping a scholarship in mind in the unlikely case that Kevin Parrom is granted a fifth year of eligibility next season.
Parrom has not met NCAA medical redshirt criteria because he has played in too many games, but the UA is planning a "kitchen sink" appeal that will include all the time he missed as a freshman and junior (the NCAA considers such appeals in the spring).
"We have not given up hope on that," Miller said. "But Kevin's good either way. He's set to graduate this spring and he's healthy and he'll go on to do some great things.
"If by chance he would be given that next year, that's a gift for all of us and we'll make the best of it that way. too."
After saying the UA may "retire" the white-out concept after three seasons, Miller joked that the UA could consider some other color schemes for fans.
"We're thinking about having a polka-dot night, or a stripe-out," he said.
"We could potentially go with the color of our opponent to throw them off and make them feel like it's a home game. So we're working on that."
In seriousness, though, Miller had this to say of the UA's loss to UCLA before last week's white-out crowd at McKale Center:
"It's just disappointing when you have an incredible crowd like we had, every one of them is wearing white … and if you lose that's not something you easily forget.
"The reason we lost wasn't because of our great crowd. It was because we played poorly and UCLA had a lot to do with that."
They can't avoid it
But just a day after Miller spoke of the white-out retirement, Washington State announced that it will hold a white-out, too - on Saturday against Arizona.
WSU will give out 6,000 white T-shirts for the game. While the Cougars drew less than 6,000 for Colorado on a Saturday night, they have exceeded that number for Gonzaga and Washington.
UA freshman Gabe York hasn't played in a Pac-12 road game yet but he's already assuming the stance made by the Wildcats' key veterans, who have played just as well if not better on the road this season.
Teammates "just tell me the Washington crowd is ridiculous and they always bring the best crowd against Arizona," York said. "I'm excited and hopefully I'll get a chance to play.
"That's what I live for - just the crowd chanting and everyone being on the opposite team's side."
In the queue
Not only did Washington State lose top recruit Dermarquise "Que" Johnson to academic ineligibility last September, but the Cougars also learned this week that he can't even practice with the team for the rest of the season.
Johnson, an explosive wing forward who attended Phoenix's Westwind Prep last season, remains enrolled at Washington State but was trying to receive clearance to work out.
"It's very disappointing and unfortunate," WSU coach Ken Bone said.
But Gonzaga lives there
Since the Wildcats lost at WSU in 2009-10, the Wildcats have made a habit of staying at a luxurious historic hotel in Spokane before WSU games, and making the 90-minute drive to Pullman on game day, rather than stay at a Best Western just east of WSU in Idaho.
They have won the past two at WSU since then.
"I think we have a good plan," Miller said. "We generally use Spokane as that in-between stop and that's a great place. We're comfortable being there and then we make the journey up or down or across to Pullman, whatever direction it is."
The UA is scheduled to take a charter flight from Seattle to Spokane after tonight's game, then charter home from Pullman after the game.
No. 8 Arizona at Washington, 7 p.m. today, ESPN, 1290-AM, 107.5-FM
He said it …
"They're still pressuring the ball and still a hard-nosed team. They can still kill us on the glass and make the game really hard for everyone, especially in transition. (Offensively) they're playing to their strengths. Tony (Wroten) wasn't the greatest in halfcourt so they went to transition. This year they're more of a skilled team. (Backup guard) Andrew Andrews has been playing lights out and they have more skill in the paint."
Book Richardson, Arizona assistant coach who scouted the Huskies
No. 8 Arizona at Washington St., 8 p.m. Saturday, Pac-12 Arizona, 1290-AM, 107.5-FM
He said it …
"Brock Motum has got to be one of the best players in the conference. Motum is really versatile. (Guard Mike) Ladd has made a huge difference in their team. He averages three offensive rebounds a game (in conference play) from that position, and he's really strong. They have three different defenses - a matchup zone, a man-to-man and a switching ball screen defense 1-5 (all positions switch on screens)."
Joe Pasternack, Arizona assistant coach who scouted the Cougars