PGU Staff Writer
Kevin Parrom quickly became a fan favorite at the University of Arizona on January 23rd with his hard foul on Ty Abbot of Arizona State. Fans ran with the incident making t-shirts that said “I’m from the Bronx, No easy buckets.” The incident took on a life of it’s own, especially with students and throughout the internet. The incident often over shadowed the other things Parrom did on the court.
At the beginning of the 2010 season Parrom openly talked about getting away from the “No Easy Buckets” fanfare. He wanted to be known for his play and not for one incident. That brings up an interesting question. How does one describe Parrom’s style of play on the court? Throughout the years, Arizona players have been flashy, tough, high basketball IQ, steady, and even “Gumby.”
None of those adequately describe Parrom.
Parrom’s game certainly draws from many of those descriptions, but none of them encompass his all around game. Fans have pegged Parrom as an enforcer, or as “New York tough.” Last year Parrom earned a reputation on defense, often being matched up with the opponent’s best player, despite missing a number of games to injury. Adjectives aside, every time I watch Parrom play, I think he’s everything a coach could want in a player.
You don’t see Parrom smile often, and his stoic look can make it hard to tell what he’s thinking. But when he does show emotion, his genuine joy and excitement to play the game of basketball is obvious. The huge grin after the Abbot foul likely won’t be the last time we see Parrom smile in the face of the opponent.
After the recent defeat of New Mexico State, Parrom was quoted as saying that his mindset was to “Come in, get rebounds, dive on the floor, do whatever it takes to bring energy.” In just 17 minutes that night he recorded five points, six rebounds, two blocks. Coach Miller thought it was one of Parrom’s best games at Arizona. Against Cal State Fullerton, it only took Parrom eighteen minutes to record 12 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block on 5-7 shooting (both misses from behind the arc). That kind of contribution to the game is quickly becoming Parrom’s identity.
But numbers don’t say everything. To the naked eye it’s undeniable the team is more fluid when Parrom is on the court. When he grabs a defensive rebound and pushes the ball, he often beats opposing guards down the court. His size creates match-up problems for guards, and his quickness makes it hard for post players to keep up. One area Parrom must absolutely improve is leaving his feet before making a pass.
For Arizona to have a player like Parrom come off the bench says everything about their depth, versatility, and work ethic. Coach Miller has said this season is about battling talent with numbers. Parrom lets the game come to him and plays within himself. If the rest of the team follows his lead, Arizona will tough to beat, no matter who is having a bad night.