Jackson-Cartwright adjusting to Arizona

Parker Jackson-Cartwright has been on campus for a few months and is just starting to practice with his new team. Read on to find out how he is adjusting to life in Tucson, how much weight he has gained since arriving, and more.

Arizona had one of the top incoming classes in the country in 2014, a label that seems obvious when looking at the quality of new talent joining the team.

One of the biggest staples of the class is true point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright.

The guard has enjoyed his time in Tucson so far, but has also had plenty of support to help with his transition.

"It's good to be here," Jackson-Cartwright said. "It's a big adjustment coming from high school to college, but this is a great place. I have had tremendous support since before I even got to campus."

Practices have started for the basketball team and it is apparent that Sean Miller means business on the court.

"The practices have been pretty intense," he said. "He is a pretty passionate guy and he gets after us. He gets things done. He's looking for perfection, so that we can achieve greatness. That's what you want to see in a coach."

Even though the practices have been intense for the point guard, he has still found time to talk with his coach about things other than basketball and strengthen the bond between them.

"(Miller) knows me much better now than he did when I committed back in January of my junior year," Jackson-Cartwright said. "It's just a different feeling being here and being able to connect with someone on a daily basis.

"Our relationship has grown a lot. I think he sees a lot in me and going forward I hope to continue to build the trust he has in me and we have a strong bond."

Being a new face to a team that has already established plenty of chemistry can be difficult, but the freshman has been taking things as they come to him and continues to work towards his goals.

"I'm just trying to honor the process and be all in for the team," Jackson-Cartwright said. "I just want to be whatever the team needs and contribute by doing whatever I can to help out.

"If that's coming in for a few minutes and making some big plays and then go back and sit down, that's fine. I just want to contribute and be a voice on our court."

The scenario Jackson-Cartwright mentioned was in reference to him backing up senior point guard T.J. McConnell. So far the two have built a great relationship on the court and the senior has taught the freshman much about the game.

"You just learn so much from him," Jackson-Cartwright said. "He doesn't give himself that much credit for any of it either. The things he does, he's always teaching something even if he doesn't know it. So far, he's been a great guy and it's awesome to have him here."

Off the court, McConnell and Jackson-Cartwright have built a friendship as well.

"We go at each other every day in practice and we can see that it's making both of us better," he said. "Every day it's a battle, but with mutual respect. We're best bros and we hang out off the court and we're great friends. We have great respect for each other and at the same time we're competing and that's what makes it so great."

Sean Miller gets to watch the competition up close and believes that McConnell will only make Jackson-Cartwright better.

"He is continuing to settle in," Miller said. "What I love about him is he can learn on a daily basis and compete against not only a great competitor, but somebody that plays the game in a similar way to him in T.J.

"Every day Parker laces them up he is getting better and better and better. I have no doubt that Parker is going to be a really good player for us."

One knock on Jackson-Cartwright coming into Arizona was his size, or lack thereof. While there may not be much that he can do about his height, the freshman has been hard at work trying to put on weight since arriving on campus.

"I think I've put on about 15 pounds since I got here," he said. "Chris Rounds has done a great job with me. It's been hard for me throughout my career to put on weight, but so far I've seen a big change and I owe it all to Chris Rounds.

"It's just the level of intensity and dedication that gets put into it here at Arizona. That much is clear. They told me what I needed to do if I wanted to change my body and I'm trying to do that."

Miller also realizes that Jackson-Cartwright is not going to get much bigger, but still feels he will have a successful career at Arizona.

"For those of you that have followed him, he has always been small, he’s always going to be small, but he is getting stronger for the first time and is heavier than he used to be," Miller said. "Parker is going to contribute I believe this year, but his future is really bright beyond this year."

During his recruitment, the guard fell in love with Arizona and he feels excited about it every time he steps on the court.

"There's a level of excitement here that I've never felt before," Jackson-Cartwright said. "It's a different level of basketball, it's a new fan base, a new city. I'm just really excited to be here.

"I'm just trying to use that energy to help me adjust and capitalize on my opportunities. Hopefully with all that, I'll play some good basketball."

So far, Jackson-Cartwright has been able to have plenty of college experiences and is still impressed with his decision.

"This is the dream school that I've always wanted," Jackson-Cartwright said. "It may not be the fit for everyone, but it is definitely the fit for me. It's going to be a great season and I hope to have a great career here.

"This is everything I imagined. Living here, playing basketball here, the fan base, school, everything that ties into being a student-athlete; it has all been amazing."

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