Our Pac-12 commentators are back with their answers to the biggest questions around the conference. This week, who is the most improved senior in the league?
Adam Butler: There was plenty of hype surrounding Solomon Hill. He was a top 50 player being likened to other Wildcat point-forwards like Richard Jefferson, Andre Iguodala, and Luke Walton. Sure that list is eclectically pieced together but the fact remains that Hill’s skill set was such that he could score, board, and dish. And it sounded great. But then Lute wasn’t the coach. And then he was. And then he wasn’t and Hill’s commitment to Arizona followed the same course until he finally settled on his hometown Trojans. Following Arizona’s 2009 season in which they made the Sweet Sixteen, a coaching hunt ensued. It wasn’t the prettiest thing but it landed Sean Miller in Tucson and the rest is history in the making. Of course Hill’s path back to Tucson wouldn’t make much sense without, say, an NCAA scandal (he was not involved) and the subsequent quitting of his USC coach and release from his LOI.
Soon on his doorstep was Arizona’s new lead man and, among the now-fabled 2009 recruiting class to join Sean Miller for year one in Tucson, Hill was the first to commit. But he was overweight and undercommitted, perhaps waltzing in with a sense of entitlement. His freshman year looked something like this: 6/4/2. He made four three-pointers. Today he’s widely considered one of the most complete players in the conference, going for 14/6/2 while connecting on 40% of his threes of which he’s made 46 attempts. Solomon has endured and blossomed in the most interesting of times for Arizona basketball and has carried the torch into the new era. He (along with fellow senior, Kevin Parrom) will be the first four-year players under Miller to move through the program. Their senior day will be bittersweet but it won’t be a farewell. After all, Miller calls it a “player’s program.” Solomon Hill embodies that program.