Arizona turned to senior Kevin Parrom in the face of a two-game losing streak, putting him in the starting lineup Sunday in a win over Utah. Coach Sean Miller and the Wildcats will keep with that plan Wednesday when they meet Washington and look to hold their ground in the Pac-12 race, the Tucson Citizen is reporting.
“Coach pretty much knows when I’m out there I’m going to play my hardest, whether I’m starting or the sixth man or whatever role I get,” Parrom told the paper. “He trusts me in whatever role he puts me in.”
Parrom started in place of freshman Brandon Ashely against Utah and responded with a near double-double of nine points and nine rebounds.
“Like a lot of seniors, when you come down the home stretch, sometimes you want to play so well it works against you,” Miller said, as reported by the paper. “Injecting him into the starting lineup I think is a good way for us to show how much we believe in him.”
Parrom and Mark Lyons have been the senior leaders for an Arizona team that started off hot in the non-conference, but has cooled off a bit in Pac-12 play. Starting Parrom takes some size out of the initial lineup on the floor, but he can still produce. Shifting Ashley toward coming off the bench had its benefits, too.
“Brandon was as big a reason why we beat Utah as any player,” Miller said. “To me, his role is as significant, if not more significant, moving forward because of how important his play is overall to our team’s success.”
Zak Irvin scored 22 points and Michigan’s outmanned front line held Purdue’s redwoods to just seven offensive boards, six second chance points and just 22 points in the paint as the Wolverines landed a critical, 61-56, win over the No. 18 Boilermakers.
Depending on who you listen to, Michigan entered the day, at worst, on the bubble and at best, in headed for the 8-9 game.
And they picked up a top 25 win.
So yes, this win was big for them moving forward.
But more important than the win itself was that Wolverine fans got a glimpse of all-american guard Caris LeVert. He played just 11 points and didn’t return in the second half, he didn’t score and he missed the only shot that he took, but LeVert took the court for the first time since Dec. 30th. That day, LeVert rolled his left ankle and most likely reinjured a foot that had had a broken bone surgically repaired twice in the last 20 months. Michigan never confirmed what the actual injury was and never gave a timetable for when he would be back in the lineup, which is what made his brief appearance so important.
LeVert isn’t done for the season.
And since the Wolverines managed to post a 9-4 Big Ten record with LeVert acting as little more than a spectator, they have a chance to make a run in the Big Ten tournament and get into the NCAA tournament.
That will happen with LeVert in the rotation and, if all goes according to plan, the starting lineup.
So even with a loss against Purdue, the Wolverines had a good day. Bolstering their NCAA tournament profile was an added bonus.
VIDEO: Memphis’ Shaq Goodwin gets technical foul for copying famous Vince Carter dunk
Memphis senior forward Shaq Goodwin picked up one of the dumbest technical fouls of the season on Saturday with the Tigers on the road against Tulane. Goodwin attempted to copy Vince Carter’s famous arm-in-the-rim dunk from the 2000 NBA dunk contest. This would have been okay during pregame warmups, but Goodwin tried to pull this off on a breakaway near the end of the first half. He was quickly hit with the T for hanging on the rim.
Goodwin has good timing when it comes to current events, as the NBA’s dunk contest airs on Saturday night, but the timing of pulling this off in the first half of a tight conference game is not so great.
For past reference, here’s Carter’s original arm-in-the-rim dunk from 2000, which had everyone astonished since it had never been done before.