The Wildcats keep defending but...

2012-01-24T17:37:00Z 2012-01-24T17:39:02Z The Wildcats keep defending but...Bruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star

The Wildcats lead the Pac-12 and are sixth nationally in three-point shooting percentage defense by allowing opponents to shoot only 26.9 percent from beyond the arc.

They are second in overall field-goal percentage defense, at 40.3

They are third in the Pac-12 in scoring defense at 62.0 points, and they are third in Pac-12 defensive rebounding, at 25.9, despite having limited size up front.

But Sean Miller is also aware of the bottom line here.

"The thing I'm most proud of is our defense... and as a smaller team we're really rebounding well," Miller said. "It's just that you're not going to talk about it if you're 13-7. If you're 15-5, that's probably the story of today's press conference."

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So Miller also talked about what's wrong.

-- He noted that Jordin Mayes doesn't appear to have the same confidence from three-point territory that he did last season. Mayes is shooting just 18 percent from three-point range in conference games, after makign 37 percent in the Pac-10 last season and 45.3 percent overall -- including a 6 of 9 mark in the NCAA tournament.

"Jordin‘s one of a number of players that, to me, is a much better shooter than he's showing. When you pick up his stats in conference, it's almost hard to believe he's shot the ball that poorly. Most of what we're trying to talk to him about is taking good ones, working on shots after practice. I can only hope the law of averages even out."

"We need Jordin to make shots becase we're not scoring a lot around the basket. Our three-point shooters, we need them to take good ones and knock them in."

-- He defended his use of timeouts at Colorado in order to give players rest, and noted that he saved timeouts in a similarly close game at McKale Center against Oregon the previous week.

At the end of the Colorado game, with no timeouts to draw up a play, UA could have shot near the basket but instead came up with a three-point shot by Kevin Parrom that did not hit the net or rim.

"I don't know how good of a look that was," Miller said. "We could have had a better shot but at the end of games sometimes that's the shot that you get. Maybe if we had shot it a little earlier we'd have a chance for an offensive rebound, but it was more of a circumstance.

"Kevin had what I thought was a strong drive baseline, he found Kyle (Fogg), Kyle got into the paint, then kicked it back to Kevin and he missed the shot."

Parrom said he was surprised to have the ball in his hands at the end, too.

"We drew up a play and obviously it didn’t work," Parrom said. "I think Kyle kicked it back to me. I wasn’t ready for it. I thought he was going to drive because we down one so I wasn’t expecting it. I shoulda been ready but I didn’t have my feet set and kind of threw up an airball. Next time I’ll be ready."

--

Still, Parrom wound up averaging 9.0 points and 4.5 rebounds, shooting 7 from 15 from the field, during the two-game series. 

Miller was obviously impressed enough that he had Parrom in at the end of the game Saturday, and he said Tuesday that he will expand Parrom's role this weekend.

Parrom has been averaging 15.7 minutes per game in Pac-12 play, splitting time between the small and power forward spots. Miller has played Parrom at power forward when Solomon Hill is out, but prefers playing Parrom at small forward.

"When he’s at the three, he really makes our team bigger," Miller said. There are "Jesse and Solomon, and now you've got three guys rebounding instead of two."

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