Arizona defeated Humboldt State on Wednesday. Read on for a closer look at who stood out and how Arizona got it done.
The 2012-13 Arizona
Wildcats received their first test on Wednesday in an exhibition affair against Humboldt State.
It wasn't much of a battle at McKale Center as the Wildcats ran away with the game and ultimately defeated Lumberjacks 108-67.
The matchup featured the debut of several new Wildcats, but the team looked like it had been playing together for years in the easy victory.
Mark Lyons was impressive in the exhibition opener. The senior finished 15 points, with all four of his field goals coming from behind the three-point line. The new starting point guard did a solid job facilitating with five assists and was active on the glass with four rebounds. The transfer from Xavier was assertive and seemed to already have a grasp of how to run the offense.
While the competition wasn't the strongest, UA showed enough for fans to retain the confidence they have built up in the offseason. It was a well-balanced output from the roster with everyone contributing in some fashion and Arizona hopes to see more of the same going forward.
Freshman center Kaleb Tarczewski started and provided a presence in the middle UA has sorely lacked for years. Tarczewski collected a double-double with 18 points and 10 boards and was extremely efficient around the basket. A true 7-footer, Tarczewski showed just why many Arizona fans are excited about his arrival.
Another freshman big man, forward Brandon Ashley, had a solid performance Wednesday. Ashley finished the night with 12 points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes of work. The freshman was an efficient 5-for-8 shooting and could be one of UA's best players off the bench this season.
Sophomore Nick Johnson had an outstanding all-around performance, doing a bit of everything on the floor. Johnson scored 14 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists, but he was even more impressive on the defensive end of the floor as he was able to pick up five steals.
Johnson had his shooting stroke on display, but if he continues to bring it defensively, he could develop into one of the Wildcats' best all-around players.
Senior Solomon Hill, arguably the team's best player, went 4-for-10 from the floor and 6-for-7 from the foul line to finish with 15 points. Hill also picked up four assists and four turnovers in the winning effort, but it wasn't all good news for the senior, who committed four turnovers and shot 1-for-5 from long range.
A lot of eyes were on senior Kevin Parrom, who missed the majority of last season recovering from a gun-shot wound and then a broken right foot. He was an efficient 3-for-4 from the floor, finishing with eight points and looked to be fully recovered, physically.
Parrom looked a bit rusty, but he has plenty of time to progress and should get better with more time on the floor.
Freshmen Grant Jerrett and Gabe York each made their own impact. Jerrett started and finished with nine points, displaying his shooting range as he went 1-for-3 from beyond the arc. Jerrett also grabbed five rebounds and blocked three shots, giving UA yet another inside presence the team lacked just a season ago.
York knocked down each of his shot attempts – both from three-point range – and had a dunk to finish with eight points. In addition, he dished out two assists, while collecting a steal in limited minutes.
Backup guard Jordin Mayes was solid off the bench, scoring six points and dishing out four assists. Mayes was hampered by injury for much of last year, but seems to be a step quicker than a season ago. The four assists are an encouraging sign for a player who is widely considered to be strictly a shooter.
Angelo Chol picked up where he left off last year, scoring five points off the bench and grabbing four rebounds while also blocking a shot. Chol will have to battle for time with the three freshman post players on the roster, but he is certain to make an impact in some fashion.
UA shot the ball well as a team, knocking down 59.1 percent of its field goals. The Wildcats were efficient from all areas, including three-point range, where they knocked down 11 out of 25 attempts.
If there was an area where Arizona struggled, it was at the foul line. UA hit 19 out of 32 attempts from the charity stripe, a percentage of just 59.4 as a team. That will have to improve over time and it's a statistic head coach Sean Miller is certainly not going to be happy about.