Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 10/28/11
By Michael Martinez FOXSportsWest.com A little humble pie can sometimes be a good thing. It's a lesson Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller is hoping his team learns quickly this season. Thursday night, the Wildcats played an exhibition game against Div. II Seattle Pacific and lost. Friday morning, Miller acknowledged at the Pac-12 Conference media day at L.A. Live that his club is far from being as good as last season's team, which won the Pac-10 regular-season title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight. "I guess I'm the only coach here who's 0-1," he joked. If nothing else, the defeat -- which doesn't count on the Wildcats' record -- proved that there's work to do in Tucson. It's not just the loss of Derrick Williams, who was taken No. 2 overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA draft, that Arizona must overcome. Miller also loses point guard Lamont "Momo" Jones, who transferred to Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., to be closer to his ill grandmother. And swingman Kevin Parrom is still recovering from gunshot wounds he suffered Sept. 24 in a dispute in The Bronx, his hometown, although he could return as soon as late November. It's no wonder Miller was surprised to learn that media members picked his team to finish third in the Pac-12, behind UCLA and Cal. "There's no way in the world we're the third-best team in the Pac-12," he said. "You can say every coach says that, but I didn't say that last year and hopefully I won't say it next year. But I'm saying it now -- there's no chance that's where we are." Nothing opened his eyes as much as the 69-68 loss to Seattle Pacific. "Last night, you really got a true sense of where our team is," Miller said. "You could tell we're a work in progress." Parrom, a 6-6 junior, could help to stabilize things if he fully recovers from wounds to his right leg and left arm. He's supposed to provide help as a scorer and a team leader, but it won't be for at least another month. "I really believe he'll return to the court this year," Miller said. "We're pointing to late November, early December if he continues to experience the same progress that he has." Miller said Parrom will begin running soon and will participate in non-contact drills during practice. But part of his recovery is also emotional. "As much as it's about him overcoming his injury, he's also had his grandma and his mom pass away all within four months," Miller said. "When he came back from New York early this week, he had a different look in his eye, almost as if all the bad things are over. I believe returning to the court is a real significant carrot for him." It might not be a cure-all for the Wildcats, however. Miller also is trying to work four freshmen into the mix, which means the learning curve will be sharp. So far, guard Nick Johnson has shown the most progress, and Miller is hopeful that Josiah Turner, also a guard, will develop over time. But 6-9 Angelo Chol and 6-8 Sidiki Johnson are short on defense and might spend more time on the bench than on the court. "With the young guys, what's good about them is they're all willing and ready to learn," senior Kyle Fogg said. "When you have something to say, they really listen." They'll be doing a lot of listening -- and Miller will be doing a lot of teaching. "Each of those guys is learning what it is to be in college," he said. "One thing about them, they can get better almost daily because they're like a blank canvas."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eagles rookie nixes anthem protest after talking to agent

Report: Romo has no ligament damage, to resume training soon

Michael Phelps to be honored with unique Wheaties box

Woman suing Brewers after being struck by foul ball

Report: ‘Strong chance’ J.J. Watt will play in Week 1

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Broncos name Trevor Siemian their Week 1 starter

Report: Jets fielding calls for Geno Smith

Report: Bryan Stork fails physical, rights revert to Pats

Eric Berry signs franchise tender, returns to Chiefs

Brandon Jennings takes swipe at Reggie Miller's career

Report: Kaepernick facing ‘uphill battle’ to make roster

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Six NFL quarterbacks the Cowboys must consider

Dwight Howard trying new way to improve free throw shooting

Eight players who have stepped up in NFL preseason so far

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker