Stamp of Approval: Three gutsy performances help Cats move to 3-0


One week into the regular season and the Arizona basketball team is 3-0. With wins over Valparaiso, Duquesne and Ball State, this young team is looking much better than they did in the two exhibition games. Regardless, there is still a lot of growing and improving to do.

A big shout out to the scheduling crew for the Cats. They’re 3-0 when there are dozens of teams out there sitting at 0-0, having not even played a game yet. These three wins will really help this team out down the road. These much needed early games have given the young guys some experience and the team a chance to work some kinks out before the St. Johns, Floridas and Gonzagas of the non-conference schedule. It will also be nice to have the three extra wins on the team’s overall record come Selection Sunday.

This week’s blog will see not one, not two, but three Stamp of Approval awards given out. In a week that saw the Cats suit up three times at home, I found it only fitting to hand out an SOA for each game! My SOA for the Valpo game goes to…

Valparaiso – If you read my blog last week you will recall that I predicted that Nick Johnson would be the proud recipient of my SOA for the game. He was a close second with 14 points, 3 boards and 6 assists in his first college basketball game. My SOA goes to Jesse Perry! JP collects his second SOA of the season with his gutsy performance in the season opener. The cats needed to come out fired up and aggressive in this game and Perry led the charge. He had 14 points and 10 rebounds to record the first double-double of his career at Arizona. On a team that is struggling with life after Derrick Williams, Perry is stepping up and doing his best to fill those shoes.

Duquesne – Head Coach Sean Miller had this to say about my SOA after the Duquesne game, “You could make the case he won the game for us with his timely threes.” I would have to agree, Coach! He was talking about sophomore guard Jordin Mayes. Mayes hit some clutch shots in the opener against Valpo and didn’t let off the gas against the Dukes. Mayes led Arizona with 19 points while starting in place of Josiah Turner. He looked cool, calm and collected as he hit 4 of 7 three-pointers and scored 16 of his 19 points in the 2nd half. His scoring was much needed as no other guard scored in double digits.

Ball St. – You guessed it…My SOA goes to Kevin Parrom! There was absolutely no question about it. The fact that Parrom even played was SOA-worthy. Less than eight weeks ago, Parrom was lying in a Bronx hospital, unable to feel anything below his right ankle due to gunshot wounds. Three weeks later, his mother died of cancer. It wouldn’t have surprised anyone if he missed the season, but that’s simply not Kevin Parrom. He worked his butt off to rehab and after missing just two games he was back on the court. Oh, and by the way, he wasn’t just “on” the court–he was tearing it up on the court!

Parrom collected 6 points, 4 rebounds and a key charging call in his 18 minutes, but it was his presence and energy that changed the outcome of this game and shifted the momentum in favor of the Cats. It was Parrom who capped off a 12-3 run to bring the cats within one with a three-point shot that made the rafters shake in McKale. “It almost felt like that basket counted for eight points,” Miller said.

The performance was capped off with an emotional embrace between Parrom and Coach Miller that brought tears to Wildcats fans around the country. It was a special day for Parrom and he certainly deserved it.

Thanks for Reading!