If there's any good news for the Arizona Wildcats about their early NIT exit, it may be that it left forward Solomon Hill in no mood to test the NBA draft.
Hill said after the UA's 65-54 loss to Bucknell on Wednesday that he's "coming back," even though as a senior-to-be, he could have little to lose by testing the draft.
Although those who declare for NBA early entry now have only until April 10 if they change their mind and return to school, they can spend a few weeks getting feedback from league officials, use that to build on as seniors and, if for some reason the vibe is good, jump in the draft.
Despite becoming an All-Pac-12 player this season, rated No. 60 among juniors by Draft Express, Hill said he's still looking to accomplish more.
"At this point, losing in the NIT first round, I don't think there's anybody who would take a player like that," Hill said. "We lost in the first round of the NIT, didn't make the (NCAA) tournament. (Having) 23 wins was pretty impressive on some parts but we didn't beat anybody. I don't really have the résumé to try to leave."
Hill contrasted himself with former Washington guard Isaiah Thomas, who left the Huskies as a junior last spring after leading them to a Pac-12 tournament title over Arizona by hitting the game-winning shot.
Thomas decided to stay in the draft and was picked with the last spot, No. 60, by the Sacramento Kings.
"A guy like Isaiah Thomas, they were right there, they won the Pac-10," Hill said. "He was a winner. He led the team, he beat us when it mattered. And they played in the tournament, they played (North) Carolina, so that helped his chances out.
"He made the tournament and he was at 60. So a guy like me has to just come back, re-evaluate the team and really get those freshmen guys coming in because I don't have a résumé."
Hill finished the season as the Wildcats' leading rebounder (7.7) and second-leading scorer (12.9). He led the Wildcats over UCLA in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament with 25 points and 12 rebounds, while playing nearly all 40 minutes, but struggled at times in the Wildcats' two other Pac-12 tournament games.
Hill had 17 points and 10 rebounds Wednesday in 38 minutes against Bucknell, recording his team-high 13th double-double of the season.
The Wildcats are now spending the rest of the week in unusual fashion, joining their fellow UA students for spring break.
UA coach Sean Miller said he expected he would probably give the Wildcats the rest of this week and all of next week off before postseason meetings are held and other offseason work begins.
Among other things, UA and freshman Josiah Turner must come to a decision about the point guard's future after he was suspended for the rest of the season on March 7.
"We have some things that we have to address this spring, both with our returning guys, and also (in recruiting) to add to that group of four which we have the opportunity to do," Miller said. "But we're not there yet."
Miller has said he plans to add at least one recruit this spring. UA has one opening as of now, after signing four players in the fall.
Lavender drops a notch
Senior guard Brendon Lavender's 0-for-5 three-point shooting against Bucknell dropped him in UA's three-point-percentage record book.
Lavender fell from third to fourth on UA's single-season three-point-percentage list. He entered Wednesday at 50.9 percent, ahead of Salim Stoudamire's 50.4 percent mark in 2004-05 but finished at 48.7, still ahead of Chris Mills (48.3 in 1992-93) and Nic Wise (48.1 in 2007-08).
Steve Kerr remains No. 1 at 57.3 percent from 1987-88 and Derrick Williams is second after hitting 56.8 percent last season.
Lavender also dropped from fifth to seventh place in UA career three-point percentage, finishing with a 40.8 percent mark over four years that put him behind Craig McMillan (41.1, 1985-88) but just ahead of senior teammate Kyle Fogg (40.4).
Fogg wound up three games ahead of Jason Gardner (1999-2003) atop Arizona's career games-played list at 139. He is also tied for fifth in career games started with Channing Frye (2001-05) at 119.
With one three-pointer against Bucknell, Fogg finished in a fourth-place tie with Jason Terry (1996-99) for three-pointers made at 193.