Kelley tries to keep focus while waiting his turn

Looking at Jarvis

Kelley's season

statistics, one game jumps out at you. It's the second game of the season, against Alaska-Anchorage in the Great Alaska Shootout. His line score reads: 7-9 FG, 4-6 FT, 6 R, 18 PTS. All this in only 15 minutes.

This was shaping up to be the breakthrough year for Kelley, one year removed from his true-freshman status. Though used sparsely the next two games, the sophomore saw his minutes suddenly skyrocket, as he had 21 against Florida State, 23 versus Houston, and 12 in the LaSalle game, all Arizona victories.

Then a guy named Ben Davis came along. With senior Ray Owes and junior Joseph Blair already solid fixtures, there was a sudden "This court ain't big enough for the four of us" air, and Kelley became the odd man out.

"Lately I haven't been getting too much playing time," said the 6-foot-10 forward. "It's not fun but I just have to bear with it."

In the past, Arizona has enjoyed a veritable cornucopia of talented big men. The media-dubbed Tucson Skyline of center Ed Stokes and forwards Brian Williams and Sean Rooks all were able to share court time. But UA coach Lute Olson feels the kitchen is only big enough for three cooks at a time that's why the Stokes-Williams-Rooks combination worked so well.

"In the inside position you're generally going to go with three guys in order for people to get quality minutes," Olson said. "The one who's lost in that has been Jarvis."

Olson contends

that progress is

made when there are no fans in the seats, when the opponents are a player's own teammates. What the fans see is the difference in progression, not the actual progress itself. And because Kelley faces Davis, Owes and Blair everyday in practice, it can only make him that much better.

"You learn the game in practice anyway," Olson said. "What he's got to do is realize that he's playing against guys in practice that can make him a whole lot better."

Though Olson may sound like the grandfather telling his grandson, "Don't worry, it'll build character," Kelley understands his role, even though he may get frustrated at times.

"I don't think I was in the exact same position as Jarvis, but I can relate to him, with a lot of things he's going through," Blair said. "I try to talk to him a lot, calm him down, and encourage him to do the best he can. He's dealt with it well."

"His time will come," Olson said. "He's got to keep working at it right now. In that inside mix of guys, one guy's a senior (Owes), so what Jarvis has to make sure he's doing is getting himself as good as he can be."

He has definitely

showed promise.

After a season that saw him shoot 50 percent from the floor, Kelley has upped that to 62.5 percent (20 of 32), and cites more muscle and a better post game as some of his improvements from a year ago. In the opinion of his teammates and Olson, the fact that he wasn't highly touted as a freshman will eventually work in his favor, because the pressure to perform has never been thrust upon him.

With Owes gone

next season,

Kelley will be expected to step in, so his future is not in question. At the moment, however, all he can do is accept his role and, in his words, be the "enthusiastic guy, and having the desire to go out there and hustle."

"He's really worked hard over the summer, and I don't foresee any problems," Blair said. "He has two big years coming up in front of him, where he's definitely going to get a lot of playing time. In his senior year, he's going to be the main attraction inside."

"It was a veteran team (last year)," Kelley said. "I was pretty much the only newcomer freshman that came in last year, besides Jason (Richey), who walked on, so I don't see any pressure on me at all. I'm just taking it game by game."

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