Cutting it close
Mayes’ big night lifts Arizona over Duquesne Dukes
Jordin Mayes was given an opportunity on Wednesday.
With freshman guard Josiah Turner bumped from the starting lineup after missing the team’s shootaround earlier that day, Mayes was given his first start of the year. The sophomore point guard from Los Angeles made the most of it.
Mayes scored 19 points on 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. No. 16 Arizona (2-0) outlasted Duquesne (0-1), 67-59, in McKale Center on Wednesday in the second game of the 2K Sports Classic.
“It’s one of my highest-ranked games in my opinion,” Mayes said. “I had a lot of confidence. Coach just keeps steady talking to me, staying in my ear, telling me to play better and better every game.”
Janice Biancavilla/ Daily Wildcat UA defeats Duquesne 67-59 on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011
Mayes hit a number of momentum-building shots throughout the night, including one that gave Arizona the lead for good with 13 minutes to play in the second half. The 6-foot-2 guard also added an assist and grabbed two rebounds — one on both offense and defense — in 27 minutes of action.
“If he doesn’t shoot the ball well and play the way he does under pressure, I don’t know if we win,” head coach Sean Miller said. “I’m trying to be hard on Jordin because we expect a lot of him. He gets no sugar. It’s like he came here, no one asked me about him, he just did his job. Year one became year two, still no sugar. And yet the guy does a good job. I’m glad we have him on our team, he’s a great kid.”
Mayes’ performance was supplemented by senior forward Jesse Perry, who scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds en route to his second double-double in two games.
Though Miller said it would be unrealistic to expect that trend to continue, he expected Perry to score in double-digits on a consistent basis and be Arizona’s leading rebounder.
“Jesse Perry is the most consistent player we have right now as our team is trying to find its identity,” Miller said. “He’s playing so hard.”
Senior guard Brendon Lavender added seven points on 3-of-5 shooting, and freshman forward Angelo Chol scored six points and grabbed seven rebounds in 20 minutes of play. Starting center Kyryl Natyazhko logged just six minutes.
Arizona went with a three-guard lineup for much of the night, something Miller attributed to the frantic pace Duquesne likes to play at.
“When you play Duquesne, you have to play this game somewhat differently,” Miller said. “It’s a tough game for a big guy unless he’s a dynamic low-post scorer, and none of our guys are that right now.
No hard feelings
Even though Turner was removed from the starting lineup after being late for shootaround, Miller said it’s the first such mistake the highly-touted freshman has made.
“When a player’s late for a shootaround, on principle, you can’t start him,” Miller said. “Hopefully he learns from it.”
Turner didn’t score in 17 minutes of action but dished out three assists and grabbed a rebound.
Basketball inks three, one still elusive for Sean Miller
The Arizona men’s basketball team inked three of four recruits on the first day of the fall signing period. Forward Brandon Ashley signed Wednesday morning, and guard Gabe York announced on Twitter he had signed Wednesday afternoon. Center Kaleb Tarczewski also made it official Wednesday night, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
According to CBSsports.com, Arizona’s last verbal commit, Grant Jerrett will sign on Monday.
The early signing period lasts until Nov. 16.
Parrom nearing return to practice
Miller said that junior forward Kevin Parrom is getting close to returning to the practice floor, and could be practicing as soon as this weekend.
“I can only hope that Kevin Parrom, with all the bad things that have happened, can return to form,” Miller said. “I think there’s a chance he could maybe start practicing this weekend.“