Even though freshman forward Brandon Ashley has started 18 games and played well off the bench Sunday at Utah, UA coach Sean Miller says he's still leaning toward starting senior Kevin Parrom tonight and maybe for the rest of the season.
"The players who have been in the program for four years have the most invested and the most experience," Miller said. "With Kevin, Solomon (Hill) and Mark (Lyons), with all the games they played in and where they're at in their careers, to me, it makes sense to put them out at the beginning of each half, in particular knowing our (early) struggles in the past four games, which really hurt us."
Parrom has started 15 total games in his four-year career, mostly coming off the bench as a top reserve.
"We're at that point of the season where it's our last go-round," Parrom said. Miller "knows the three seniors are going to play their hardest, so I'm happy I'm starting right now."
Parrom actually has a slight chance to return next season, if UA's appeal for a fifth year is unexpectedly approved, but said he is treating this season as his last. Parrom has played too much to meet normal medical redshirt requirements, but the UA is noting the time he collectively missed over his first three seasons.
Another side effect of the Pac-12's new media rights deals is apparent in tonight's 9 p.m. tipoff.
To Miller, it could be worse. No, wait, it has been worse.
"It's just college basketball today," Miller said. "Noon games are as difficult to play in as 9 o'clock games. I think the most ridiculous game I've ever coached in was our first year we played at 11 a.m. against UCLA (on Jan. 2, 2010). You start going before noon and you ask yourself, 'Is it worth it?'"
Miller said it was probably going to be more difficult on the UA fans than players, since the players are often up late anyway, but Wildcat forward Solomon Hill said he doesn't like the late start.
"I mean, who would want to play at nine?" Hill said. "One of my teachers said she can't make the game because it was too late for her. I can't complain about it, but, yeah, it's very different. … Playing the game and not getting out of the gym until 12? I have class the next day."
Keeping the faith
When Washington lost by 13 points at home to Oregon last week, the Huskies had reason to roll over. That was their seventh loss in eight games, and they were at 5-7 in league play.
But they had two full days to prepare for Oregon State, then beat the Beavers 72-62.
"We came back from that game, all our guys and had a great attitude in practice," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said, later adding: "I think we're just trying to get better in the next three weeks before the (Pac-12) tournament and there's some guys stepping up for us."
Johnson's block nominated
UA guard Nick Johnson's game-saving block against San Diego State in the final of the Diamond Head Classic was nominated Tuesday for the GEICO Play of the Year. Four plays are nominated each week for eight weeks, and the winner will be chosen by fan voting at www.facebook.com/bestofcollegebasketball
The eventual winner will be aired on the Best of College Basketball special on April 6.
Washington at No. 12 Arizona, 9 p.m. today, ESPN2, 1290-AM, 107.5-FM, 990-AM
He said it …
"They're playing their young guys. Kemp is a really powerful offensive player; he's a force on the offensive end. He's much more athletic. Jarreau is long, athletic and pretty good on the perimeter, a stretch four (power forward). He makes you honest. They're always dangerous because they play hard."
Book Richardson, Arizona assistant coach who scouted the Huskies
Washington St. at No. 12 Arizona, 1 p.m. Saturday, FSAZ Plus, 1290-AM, 107.5-FM, 990-AM
He said it …
"They switch 1-5 (all positions, against screens), and they played a lot of matchup against Oregon. People have made a lot of how Cal zoned us, but we just have to make shots. If we do that, we'll be fine."
Joe Pasternack, Arizona assistant coach who scouted the Cougars