Tag:Nick Johnson
Posted on: November 8, 2011 9:19 am
Edited on: November 8, 2011 9:57 am

Arizona's Johnson knows it'll take time

By Jeff Goodman

Nick Johnson knows it'll take time.

Not just for him, but for the entire Arizona team.

Arizona's talented freshman may have said the words "one day and one game at a time" four or five different occasions last night following the Wildcats season-opening 73-64 victory against Valparaiso.

This will obviously be a completely different team without Derrick Williams.

"Anyone can be the leading scorer or rebounder," Johnson said.

"We understand we'll go through growing pains," he added. "We've already gone through some with the exhibition loss, but luckily it didn't count on our record. However, it definitely counted in our minds."

Johnson finished with 14 points and six assists in his debut - and Arizona was led by senior Kyle Fogg, who went for 16 points.

Jesse Perry went for a double-double (14 points, 10 boards), Solomon Hill had eight points and freshman point guard Josiah Turner struggled and finished with seven points.

"He was a highly ranked guy coming in," Johnson said of Turner. "Point guard it the most difficult position on the floor. He has to know everyone's spots and also be a leader. He has a big weight on his shoulders, but it'll click for him soon."

Turner isn't the only player with an adjustment. Virtually the entire team is in a different role - and after a somewhat lackluster first half against Valpo, Arizona's defense clamped down the first 10 or 15 minutes of the second half.

"We locked down," Johnson said. "Until the last four minutes or so - when we gave up a few 3's."

Johnson maintained the same philosophy that his coach has been preaching in the preseason. This team may not look the same in the middle of Pac-12 play as it does right now.

Arizona is hopeful that Kevin Parrom will be back on the court sometime next month - and also that Turner will make major strides. However, in the meantime, it's Jordin Mayes that gives this Wildcats team the best opportunity to win.

At least for right now.

And down the road? Who knows.

"Last year they clicked at the right time," Johnson said. "We're hoping maybe we can do something like that."

Photo: AP
Posted on: October 31, 2011 9:25 am
Edited on: October 31, 2011 9:43 am

Arizona's Miller realistic after D-II loss

By Jeff Goodman

The place not to be this weekend? McKale Center in Tucson, Arizona.

That's where Arizona coach Sean Miller crushed his players after a loss to Division 2 Seattle Pacific on Thursday night.

However, a few days after the somewhat embarrassing setback, Miller gained some perspective. 

"No one wanted to lose, but in a funny way I think it'll help us," Miller said on Sunday night. "We've got to earn it all over."

"Guys are in different roles," he added.

Without Derrick Williams, this is a completely different team - and while the Wildcats did welcome in a stellar freshman class, it'll likely take time for most of them to adjust. Despite their preseason ranking, this is not a Top 25 team right now. Not this early - and not without Kevin Parrom. 

The only one who stood out in his debut was athletic guard Nick Johnson.

"He was the bright spot," Miller said of Johnson.

Fellow freshman guard Josiah Turner - the most highly touted of the frosh - struggled. Miller said that could be the case early because Turner had a rough senior season in high school in which he switched schools.

"He didn't come off a good situation, but did the best he could," Miller said. "Don't be surprised if Josiah struggles early in the season and plays his best basketball later in the year."

Not only is Arizona without Williams, but the Wildcats are also without Parrom - who is recovering from being shot in the leg.

"I'd be surprised if Kevin's back in November," Miller said. "It's probably realistic that he returns in December. He's getting more and more movement and has been doing as well as anyone could expect after the loss of his mother."

Miller said that fans will need to be patient with other two freshmen - big men Sikidi Johnson and Angelo Chol. Veteran big man Alex Jacobson, who would likely play minutes right now due to the inexperience of Johnson and Chol, is also out with an injury.

Photo: AP

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