Kevin Parrom

Kevin Parrom to make second straight start Wednesday vs. Washington

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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.”

Arizona tips off against Washington at 9 p.m. ET.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: