Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 3/8/13
TUCSON, Ariz. -- It all went too fast for Solomon Hill and Kevin Parrom. And, yes, Mark Lyons, who joined the other seniors this year at Arizona in what they hoped would be a glorious road to the Final Four and beyond. There is still hope that it could happen. Time will tell. But one thing that is certain is their time at McKale Center is running out, with Saturday's 2:30 p.m. game against Arizona State being their last appearance in front of the home crowd. The careers of the three Wildcat seniors will be linked closely to head coach Sean Miller, because they are all part of his first graduating class -- even if they came together in an unusual fashion. Miller recruited Lyons to Xavier in 2008, then said goodbye a year later when he headed West -- at a time when the Lute Olson era was ending at Arizona. Shortly after Miller arrived in Tucson, in came his first recruiting class of Derrick Williams, MoMo Jones, Hill and Parrom. Williams, Jones and Hill were all headed to USC before Tim Floyd resigned in the wake of an NCAA investigation. They took a leap of faith in coming to UA, Miller said. Williams and Jones left after two years -- Williams for the NBA, Jones to Iona, where he was this year's Metro Atlantic Player of the Year, to be closer to home. Hill, Parrom and Miller have been together at Arizona for four years. Lyons reunited with Miller this year for his final season of eligibility. Its all worked out. There was a deep run into the NCAA tournament two years ago, behind Williams heroics, and then a step back with last year's first-round NIT loss to Bucknell. But they have no regrets. In the coming month a new destiny or not - will be formed as they prepare for the Pac-12 Conference tournament next week, hoping to catch a spark for the NCAA tournament a week later. First up, though, is their McKale Center sendoff on Saturday, against Arizona State. Momentum in any form is important for the Wildcats after suffering back-to-back losses to USC and UCLA last week. Miller said the bigger picture issues are being put on hold right now to concentrate on Arizona State. The Pac-12 and NCAA Tournaments are a subject for later. Thats a big picture right now that I dont really believe were even talking about," Miller said. "Its so much about the respect we have for ASU and the opportunity to win our 12th (Pac-12) game. Its not going to be easy. I think well all feel really good if were able to do it here on Saturday. Last year, Arizona couldnt get by ASU in the regular-season finale in Tempe, a loss that ultimately proved costly to their NCAA Tournament aspirations. This week's focus is internal, on playing hard, playing tough, playing aggressively -- traits that have been lacking in recent weeks. If the Wildcats can do that, they'll stand a much better chance of a joyous sendoff celebration for the seniors. Hill looks back four years ago and describes the process that brought him to Tucson as "weird." He had originally committed to Arizona out of high school in Los Angeles but pulled back after Olson retired. He then decided to attend USC. Then Floyd left, and Miller was hired in Tucson. That was a weird situation, Hill said of the first meeting. Youre talking about committing to a guy for four years, probably the best youthful years of life, years you wont be able to get back. It was weird because he was the head coach at the University of Arizona, a school I really wanted to play for. I had to meet him with open ideas, an open mind about the situation. Its worked out for me. Hill, 6-feet-7 and 220 pounds, has made a steady progression throughout his career, but not before he shed about 25 excess pounds. He's started every game for the past three seasons and 123 for his career, and his scoring average has climbed from 6.7 to 8.0 to 12.9 to 13.6. He was an All-Pac-12 selection last year and the team's Most Valuable Player. With a strong postseason, he stands a good chance of ending his career among the top 20 in scoring and top 10 in rebounding in school history. Parrom, 6-6 and 220, also changed gears when Miller was hired at Arizona. He had committed to Xavier as a high schooler from New York City, but it was more about the coach than the school. Moving further west wouldnt change anything. His road hasnt been so smooth. His mother passed away from cancer nearly 18 months ago, he was shot when he went to visit her in her final days. His grandmother passed away around that time frame. He's spent most of his career as a super sub, though he has started the past five games and is averaging a career-best 8.5 points per game as a senior. On Saturday, he said, his father, an aunt, his brother and his mothers soul will be in attendance. Im just going to try to do the best I can to win on Saturday, Parrom said. She doesnt like us losing. When she was alive, she was like, what are you guys doing losing these games? I didnt send you across country to lose.' Thats why on Saturday he all but promises a victory. We ARE going to win, he said. I cant accept (a loss). I know he (Hill) cant accept that either. Coach aint going to accept it. Nobody can accept it, especially because its ASU.
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