Arizona’s luck had to turn at some point. But I didn’t realize it would encompass most of the season.
The Wildcats were among the game’s “luckiest” teams when it made its run to the Elite Eight last season (having Derrick Williams and shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc also didn’t hurt). This season, only 20 teams have had it worse.
If that’s too wonky, try this: One of the Wildcats’ touted prospects never played this season and one of their best players is done for the year. Without Kevin Parrom – who already had a fairly trying season – Sean Miller’s team might just be in deep trouble.
The 6-6 junior was a versatile player on the wing, a capable shooter and could help Arizona’s undersized frontcourt on defense. He’d been logging more minutes the last few games, but a broken foot suffered during Saturday’s loss to Washington ended all that.
“We missed him, no question about it,” Miller said. “It’s a shame because Kevin right now is (effectively) a starter. He is. He would have probably been a starter from the first day of the season until now, but on the Colorado-Utah swing was probably the first time we saw him running and playing and confident. He almost had his full strength back. He played an excellent half against Washington today.
“Not having him available for the second half was kind of the same look we’ve had prior to him coming back and our margin for error is razor-thin without him, that’s for sure.”
Arizona (14-8, 5-4 in the Pac-12) plays five of its final nine regular-season games on the road, including a trip to the Bay Area. Until Parrom was injured, there was a solid chance the Wildcats could’ve won seven of those nine games – they haven’t played like a team one game above .500 – but this hurts that significantly.
I’d been convinced that Arizona was a team that would play its way into Top 25 status as the season progressed. Now it appears as though it won’t even play its way into the NCAA tournament.
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