Mar 23, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Xavier Musketeers guard Mark Lyons (10) calls a play against the Baylor Bears in the semifinals of the south region of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

Arizona Wildcats Basketball: Mark Lyons Commits To 'Cats Over Kentucky, Kansas

A roster breakdown, a look at the stellar freshmen class and more, all for the 2012-13 season.

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34 Total Updates since March 22, 2012
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Arizona Wildcats Basketball Adds Three Games To 2012 Schedule

The Arizona Wildcats are working hard to finalize their schedule for the 2012-13 season. For a team that most have projected for a top-10 ranking at the start of fall practices, Sean Miller and UA have just a few open dates left to fill. Three of those spots were filled on Friday as Arizona announced three games to their schedule, all of which will be played at McKale Center.

According to Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star, the Wildcats have added games with Charleston Southern, Long Beach State and Southern Mississippi.

Charleston Southern will kick off the season in Tucson for Arizona, which is scheduled for November 11. Long Beach State, a school that earned a six-seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, will face UA on November 19. Southern Miss was a No. 8 seed last March and will be in town December 4.

Arizona also secured two exhibition games with Humboldt State and Chico State. The annual Red-Blue Game will be played on October 21.

Pascoe also mentions that the Wildcats are looking to add two more games to the schedule, both of which will likely be home-and-home series.

For more on UA hoops, check out AZ Desert Swarm.


Sean Miller Talks Impact Of Mark Lyons, Solomon Hill For Arizona Wildcats

Following a wild past month for the Arizona Wildcats through transfers both into and outgoing from the program, head coach Sean Miller met with the media on Tuesday to discuss a wide range of topics. Among the hottest topics on the agenda: how Mark Lyons will fit into the program, Kevin Parrom's recovery from a broken foot and Solomon Hill moving to his natural position.

Here were news and notes from Miller's press conference:

  • Coach Miller addressed T.J. McConnell, who transferred from Duquesne and will sit out next season, and thinks his impact in practices will be huge for the Wildcats. Not only will McConnell get to learn the system for once he becomes the starting guard in 2013, but also get to compete and challenge everyone else in practice. Miller mentioned his ties to T.J. and his family, and really gained respect for him after he played against Arizona this past year.
  • As expected for weeks, the plan is to redshirt Matt Korcheck next year. He will be eligible for two seasons after that. Similar to McConnell, coach Miller was very excited to see what Korcheck brings to the program in practice. He felt Korcheck will develop very nicely once he gets in a full year or practices and working in the weight room.
  • Miller had nothing but great things to say of Mark Lyons, who recently decided to become a Wildcat after four years at Xavier. Miller praised his work ethic and competitiveness on the court, and feels that his toughness will be huge for the team next season. Look for Lyons to arrive in Tucson around the Fourth of July, just in time for the start of the final summer school session.
  • After playing the four-spot for much of last year due to a lack of size, Solomon Hill will exclusively play small forward as a senior. Miller also said that Hill has earned 30+ minutes a game due to his talent and experience.
  • Kevin Parrom's foot is completely healthy after breaking it last January. Coach Miller emphasized just how import Parrom will be to the team given his experience and ability to be a physical presence on the wings. Look for him to play a little bit of small forward behind Hill, and also to see quite a few minutes in the backcourt at the two.
  • Coach Miller believes the size and strength of his team will be a huge advantage over the competition. He also hinted at many possible lineup combinations, going big or small at any point in the game. Miller feels that the balance on his roster will be huge throughout the long season.
  • And finally, this might have been the most telling quote from Miller's entire press conference: "I feel like we finally have two feet on the ground."

Mark Lyons Commits To Arizona Wildcats Over Kentucky, Kansas

Mark Lyons will be the starting point guard in Tucson for the 2012-2013 season. The former Xavier guard, who originally committed to Sean Miller in what would be his final season coaching at XU, gave his pledge to the Arizona Wildcats on Sunday morning following his visit to campus.

He also visited John Calipari and the University of Kentucky earlier in the week, although Arizona was considered the heavy favorite throughout. A trip to Kansas was expected but never took place.

Lyons just tweeted his news.

(And yes, he is referring to the Arizona Wildcats.)

This is an absolutely huge get for the Wildcats. With the departure of starting point guard Josiah Turner and recent transfer T.J. McConnell not eligible to play until 2013, Lyons immediately fills the void on what should be a preseason top-10 team. Some have questioned his leadership abilities on the court following the infamous brawl that took place between Xavier and Cincinnati last December, but all reports indicate he is a good kid who simply got caught up in the heat of a moment.

Lyons is more of a combo-guard instead of a true point guard, although he knows his only chance to make it in the NBA will be if he improves his passing and ball handling skills. At 6'2 and 185lbs, he certainly fits the mold of a prototypical point guard. As a redshirt junior last year with Xavier, Lyons averaged 15.5 points-per-game, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists.

Welcome to the University of Arizona, Mark Lyons. Next season could be a magical one in Tucson.

For more on the Wildcats, check out AZ Desert Swarm.


Josiah Turner Leaving Arizona Wildcats Basketball Program

What many had suspected for weeks was finally confirmed on Wednesday afternoon by the Arizona Wildcats: starting point guard Josiah Turner has elected to transfer from the UA. He has not selected a school as of yet and will likely make a decision in the near future.

Turner entered the UA last fall as one of the most highly regarded freshmen to ever step foot on campus. Incredibly talented, he struggled to live up to expectations both on and off the court. He was suspended numerous times by Sean Miller for conduct detrimental to the team, including a suspension for the Pac-12 Tournament.

Turner averaged 6.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 29 games, starting in 17 of them.

"I learned a lot in my year at Arizona and would like to thank my coaches, teammates and the fans for all of their support," said Turner.

What does this mean for the Wildcats in 2012? Jordin Mayes and Nick Johnson will handle the point guard duties, with Mayes likely to become the starter given his experience running the position. Incoming freshman Gabe York could also see a few minutes at the one next season. All three are more of combo-guards than true point guards, so their development this summer is crucial for the UA to be successful next season.

"Josiah made a great deal of progress as a student-athlete in his year with us," said Arizona head coach Sean Miller. "He will finish this semester and leave in good academic standing. All of us at Arizona wish him well in his future."


TJ McConnell Commits To Arizona Wildcats, According To Reports

The Arizona Wildcats have been actively pursuing Duquesne point guard TJ McConnell since the sophomore point guard announced his intentions to transfer a few weeks ago. Many felt that Sean Miller and the UA sat atop his list of potential destinations, and after a very successful trip to Tucson this weekend, McConnell has committed to the Wildcats, according to reports.

We do not have direct confirmation from McConnell or his father as of late Sunday evening, but this looks to be very close to a done deal. An official announcement could come as early as Monday morning. The Virginia Cavaliers were the only other team in the running to receive his commitment.

McConnell will have to redshirt the 2012 season due to NCAA transfer rules, and will then be eligible for two years in Tucson starting the fall of 2013. With the uncertainty surrounding incumbent point guards Josiah Turner and Jordin Mayes looming over the program, it was no wonder that Miller and the coaching staff put the full-court press on McConnell during his visit.

UPDATE, 4/9:

Despite the report from Point Guard U, McConnell has said through friends that he has not committed anywhere as of yet. It appears they may have jumped the gun. An official announcement is expected Tuesday or Wednesday.


Arizona Basketball Recruiting: Matt Korcheck Commits To Wildcats

The Arizona Wildcats have added yet another player to their 2012 recruiting class. While he comes in through the junior-college ranks, Matt Korcheck has a very promising future ahead of him. The former standout at Sabino High School in Tucson originally signed with the UTEP Miners, but a coaching change prompted him to stay home and attend Cochise College.

He visited Oklahoma earlier this spring and came to Tucson this past weekend. After meeting with the coaching staff and checking out the facilities, the 6'9" forward is now a Wildcat. He is expected to officially sign his transfer papers on Monday or Tuesday.

With sophomore-to-be Angelo Chol and incoming freshmen Brandon Ashley, Grant Jerrett and Kaleb Tarczewski all likely to claim a bulk of the minutes in 2012, the plan is to redshirt Korcheck next season. He will have two years of eligibility starting in the 2013 season.

Not only does this give Sean Miller and the coaching staff some much-needed stability surrounding the roster, but it also allows Korcheck some time to improve in practice and get comfortable at the Division-I level. He could become a very reliable player in the coming years for Arizona, especially given his size and toughness around the rim.

And speaking of rims, he likes to do some damage to them and the backboard. Check it out.

Welcome to the University of Arizona, Matt. Bear Down.

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