Monday, May 04, 2009

It's Official: Kevin Parrom To Arizona

According to Wildcat Sports Report, Kevin Parrom has committed to play at Arizona next season. This is a pretty big coup for Arizona, although not a surprising one. Parrom had committed to play for Sean Miller at Xavier, and had asked out when Miller jumped to Arizona. He seriously considered a couple of different schools, but nobody is too surprised to see Parrom follow Miller to Arizona.

As a player, Parrom fits the style of play that Miller used at Xavier, and will presumably bring to Arizona. He's long, lean and athletic. Listed at 6'6", 200 pounds, he has a nice shooting stroke and can handle the ball well for his height. He joins two other Top 100 quality recruits to make a solid first recruiting class for Miller. Known as an excellent recruiter, I would expect Miller to consistently bring in quality classes now that he's able to combine his skills with the Arizona brand name.

The question that Arizona fans now have is whether Parrom will be able to save the team from losing its NCAA Tournament streak. I would argue that Parrom doesn't really fill Arizona's biggest need. Their strength is going to be their back court (especially if Nic Wise comes back for his Senior season), but they also have some decent swing man options in Jamelle Horne and Zane Johnson. And that's not to mention an incoming recruit who is actually rated higher than Parrom is (Solomon Hill). No, Arizona's problem is going to be on the inside, where they relied so heavily on Jordan Hill for the past three seasons. Jeff Withey jumped ship to Kansas after Lute Olsen left. That leaves them 6'11 Alex Jacobson as their only player on the roster taller than 6'6" or heavier than 220 pounds. Jacobson was a marginal recruit (by Pac-10 standards) and only collected seven more points than fouls this past season in 6.9 minutes per game. Not exactly Jordan Hill numbers.

Right now the only big man that I'm aware of in Arizona's immediate future is 6'10" recruit Kyryl Natyazhko, who should play as a Freshman because of the lack of alternatives, but he's more of an outside shooting big than somebody who will bang bodies inside. They're also working on 6'9" in-state recruit Colin Borchert. He wouldn't be an immediate savior, but he'd get significant playing time as a Freshman if he chose Arizona over the other schools competing for him (basically the entire Pac-10). There may be some transfers that they're working on, but I haven't seen that anywhere. Arizona fans reading this article can let me know if I'm missing somebody.

As I said in my 2009-10 Pac-10 preview, I do think that Arizona's future is a whole lot brighter that it was a few months ago. And I do think that they have a great hire in Sean Miller. But I just don't see how they have the talent to overcome a complete lack of a big man in 2009-10. I think the streak ends, but they'll be back in the Tournament in 2011 and competing for a Pac-10 title by 2012 at the latest.

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