Wildcats must build on season

Arizona's season was disappointing to all involved. However, there was a sense of urgency after Wednesday's loss when players looked to the future. Read inside to see how Arizoan can bounce back, the thoughts of Solomon Hill, and more.

Arizona head coach Sean Miller will be the first to admit that this season was disappointing not only for him, but for the program as a whole.

However, a little more perspective reveals a team that almost went through too much to be successful. There are not too many teams, if any, that would have been able to go through what this program went through this year and yet still remain successful.

"We really had two storylines going on for us this season," Miller said after Wednesday's loss to Bucknell. "The first is that I have so much pride for our seniors. Our breaking point really came when Kevin Parrom hurt his foot up in Washington and we were getting ready for the Bay Area games. The turning point was that we were playing our best basketball of the season. Our guys had the effort, made plays, were leaders, good guys outside of the locker room, and did whatever we asked them to.

"Obviously, our second storyline was that we were hit with a lot before the ball even bounced with Kevin getting shot, but we kept fighting. Today we gave into the disappointment from the Pac-12 Tournament, right when we could have won it. It's okay for people to feel bad about not making the NCAA Tournament but we were given a big opportunity to play in the NIT, and we should have responded that way against Bucknell."

Again, there is no doubt that Arizona basketball disappointed. Even if it did not make the tournament, it likely could have made a large contingent of people feel better with a solid performance against Bucknell.

Instead, Arizona came out flat and looked very similar to how it did against Arizona State. If you take away the road trip to Cal and Stanford, it is difficult to make an argument that Arizona won a big game all season.

As Solomon Hill stood in the locker room and realization set in that the season was over, he chose to take an overall look at his career rather than simply look at the Bucknell game.

"Last year's team, I had played with since freshman year, and along with Derrick, they were a group of guys who really knew their role in order for all of us to be successful," he said. "Last year, we all knew what we had to do in order to be better and took the opportunity. Next year, I may not play forty minutes, but there will be other guys who will have the opportunity to step up."

Arizona was once a feared program and the best in the west. It is still close and that fear is very likely around the corner, but Hill is adamant about one thing his teammates, both current and future, need to know.

"It's a privilege to play at Arizona and everyone needs to know that," he said.

That is certainly the truth and one that Sean Miller and his players hope to make a stronger reality next season.


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