These weekly rankings are, in order, a season-running list of what Arizona players are performing the best. Games from each week, in addition to all games prior, will be taken into consideration.
11/13- Arizona 73, Ball State 63
11/17- Arizona 81, St. John's 72
11/18- Mississippi State 67, Arizona 57
Jesse Perry (Last Week: 1)
Ball State: 7 pts, 4 reb, 2/9, 2 assists, 1 blk, 4 to
St. John's: 11 pts, 10 reb,, 1 blk, 1 stl, 4/10
Mississippi State: 11 pts, 10 reb, 2 blk, 1 stl, 1/3 3pt
Perry, while maybe not the most talented player on the roster, remains its most consistent performer. In those last three games he tagged on two more double-doubles, bringing him to four on the season. To put into perspective how much he has improved since last year, he never once grabbed more than eight rebounds and had only nine games where he scored more than ten points. He already has done both things—four times.
Solomon Hill (Last Week: 6) Ball State: 16 pts, 11 reb, 3 ast, 4/6, 7/10 FT, 1 blk
St. John's: 15 pts, 7 reb, 3 ast, 2/4 3pt, 5/6 FT
Mississippi State: 12 pts, 9 reb, 6/11
When he is at his best, and doing what he his capable of doing, Arizona wins basketball games. It's that simple. Against Ball State he had maybe the best performance of his career with his first double-double. He followed that up with another solid all-around performance against St. John's where he scored 15 points, had seven rebounds and dished out three assists. When he creates for himself, and his teammates, Arizona will win more than it loses, which is a big reason why the Wildcats lost to Mississippi State on Friday (among other reasons). Hill had a decent 12 points and nine rebounds, but he also had zero assists. While progress is certainly being made, Hill needs to take the reigns as this team leader, both vocally and performance-wise.
Kyle Fogg (Last Week: 4)
Ball State: 21 pts, 5/12, 3/5 3pt, 8/9 FT, 3 reb, 1 stl, 1 blk, 3 to
St. John's: 13 pts, 6 ast, 3 reb, 3/7 3pt, 2 stl, 4/4 FT
Mississippi State: 7 pts, 1 reb, 1 ast, 0/1 3pt
No reasonable person looks at Kyle Fogg and expects a superstar or go-to scorer, and that's OK. As long as Fogg can continue to do what he does best, the Wildcats will be better for it. He can shoot, he can defend and he makes his free throws. He is capable of breaking out for 20 plus points (see: Ball State), but he is also just as likely to score less than ten points (see: Mississippi State). Fogg isn't even the best guard on the roster (he might be third or fourth in terms of talent, behind the likes of Nick Johnson, Jordin Mayes and Josiah Turner), but if he can continue to play the way he played in two of the last three games Arizona will be just fine.
Nick Johnson (Last Week: 3)
Ball State: 9 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast, 2/6, 5/7 FT, 0/1 3pt
St. John's: 11 pts, 2 reb, 1 ast, 3/5 3pt
Mississippi State: 6 pts, 2 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl, 2 blk, 2/7 3pt
He still hasn't quite had that breakout game everyone is waiting for, but Johnson has been a solid contributor thus far. He doesn't make many mistakes, which is huge on a team filled with young players. He's topped out at 14 points this season, but he clearly has the potential to be better. Sean Miller has been playing Johnson a bit at point guard, which might even be the best spot for him. With Josiah Turner's slow development, and Mayes being a shoot-first point guard, Johnson might just be the best fit at the one right now. Anyway, the high-flying guard has had a few big plays and although the numbers might not show it, Johnson has definitely been making an impact of late.
Kevin Parrom (Last Week: N/A) Ball State: 6 pts, 4 reb, 2 ast, 1/3, 1/3 3pt
St. John's: 6 pts, 5 ast, 3 reb, 2/4 3pt
Mississippi State: 3 pt, 2 to, ½ 3pt
This ranking is less for his numbers than it is for the impact Parrom has made on the team-- and the city of Tucson for that matter. The minute Parrom checked into the Ball State game, a new sense of urgency and confidence immediately came about for the Wildcats. Emotionally, the team needs Parrom, and that has showed thus far. Every time he enters the game, the players around him seem to start playing harder. He's not so bad of a player himself either. His shooting has been on point thus far, making 4-of-9 of his 3-pont shots. Against St. John's he scored six points, had three rebounds, five assists and made three 3-pointers. All-around, Parrom has the ability to be one of Arizona's top three or four best players. His ability to bring the ball up the court with his 6-foot-6 frame makes him even more dangerous. If he could start scoring more, the Wildcats would be all the better for it.
Jordin Mayes (Last Week: 2)
Ball State: 2 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast, 0/3, 0/2 3pt
St. John's: 12 pts, 1 ast, 1 reb, 2/5 3pt
Mississippi State: 8 pts, 1 reb, 1 stl, 1 blk, 2/5 3pt
Mayes broke out in the first few games of the season, capitalizing on Josiah Turner's mistakes (on the court and off), but he has quieted down of late. The biggest problem with Mayes so far has been his inability to create shots for his teammates. Three assists in five games is not adequate for a starting point guard. When Turner is ready, it is in Sean Miller's best interest to start him. Mayes brings a nice scoring punch, which would prove even more effective coming off the bench.
Josiah Turner (Last Week: 7)
Ball State: DNP
St. John's: 8 pts, 1 ast, 3 reb, 2 stl, 1/3 3pt
Mississippi State: 8 pts, 2 reb, 2 ast, 4/4 FT
The recent three-game stretch started off with Turner being benched after being late for shoot around. The highly touted freshman has been a major disappointment thus far, but you can see he is slowly becoming more comofortable. If he can start playing with more passion and aggression, he will be alright. At this point, an early NBA departure seems unlikely so maybe that will be more motivation for the young guard to improve. He has scored a solid eight points in each of his alst two games, but he also only has three assists combined in those two games. For a pass-first point guard, that's not so good.
Kyryl Natyazhko (Last Week: 9)
Ball State: 5 pts, 3 reb, 1/2 3pt
St. John's: 0 pts, 2 reb, 1 ast
Mississippi State: 2, pts, 6 reb, 2 ast, 2 off reb
Sean Miller has shown through the first five games that he wants to lean toward a smaller lineup, putting Jesse Perry at the 5 frequently, but when he does play his big men it has become clear so far that Kyryl is his first choice. He is a big body down low, but at 6-foot-11 he surprisingly is not very good at making any difference defensively. His lone block of the season came in game one against Valparaiso, and his six rebounds against Mississippi State are the most he's had since he grabbed six boards against BYU last December. But, he does the best with what he has—he even made a three pointer against Ball State.
Angelo Chol (Last Week: 5)
Ball State: 0 pts, 2 reb, 1 stl, no shots
St. John's: 2 pts, 2 reb
Mississippi State: 0 pts, 1 stl
After the first two games, Sean Miller gave the impression that Chol would start to get more and more playing time at center. Clearly, he changed his mind. After playing 44 minutes in the first two games, Chol has only had 21 minutes of floor time since. He is young, a mistake-prone, but the potential he brings to the defensive low-post is a weapon Miller needs to employ. It was especially surprising at the lack of playing time he received against Mississippi State, just two minutes, when the Bulldogs have players like Renardo Sidney and Arnett Moultrie. Kyryl Natyazhko had a solid game, with six rebounds, but he is just a big body down low. Chol brings shot-blocking ability unlike anyone else on Arizona's roster.
Brendon Lavender (Last Week: 8)
Ball State: 6 pts, 1/1 3pt
St. John's: 3 pts, 1/1 3pt
Mississippi State: 0,0,0
Lavender is on the roster for his three-point shooting, nothing more and nothing less. Therefore, he has performed exactly up to play. He played sparingly against Mississippi State, but he was 2-of-2 from 3-point range in the two games prior with nine points total.
Sidiki Johnson (Last Week: 10)
Ball State: 1 pt, 2 reb
St. John's: 0 pts, 0 reb, 1 blk
Mississippi State: DNP
Same old, same old with the freshman from New York. Johnson gets limited playing, so he in turn has limited production. Miller doesn't seem to have very much confidence in what has been an extremely disappointing season for Johnson. Don't expect much to change going forward, and don't expect very much, if any, rise in rankings in the near future for him.