NBA prep vs. NCAA success
Last year we saw Mark Lyons play the point because that was his terms with Miller to come play for us. He wanted to prove to NBA scouts that he could play the point, and so we let an extremely talented shooting guard play the position he was not cut out for. Ultimately he became a liability for the team and his weakness at the point became more and more exploited by opponents as the season went on. Eventually he just dribbled to half court and handed the reigns to Nick, but defenders knew if he had the ball there was a 85% chance he was going to try to score in his own.
I understand the merits of the players program, it builds great chemistry when players are happy and feel that the program is built around their individual success. But, I'm not sure there is any reason for players to play their projected NBA position in college. There is an endless string of great pro players that played a different position in college than their eventual pro spot. I'm concerned that Miller is using this strategy as a boost to recruiting, even for players like AG, it was clear yesterday that he is in no way a small forward, and would benefit the team greatly at the 4 spot. It's too early to tell where he will end up playing this year, but I think it's scary to think that we may have another season of trying to cram our most talented player into a box that he just doesn't fit the mold for.
I think many have voiced legitimate concern for Miller's ability to develop talent. And I've tried to keep an open mind because I know my view of the team will always be affected by my growing up in the lute era. But we are now in uncharted territory as wildcat fans, lute never had as highly sought after talent as Miller is now consistently bringing in. And I fear we are edging closer and closer to the Kentucky revolving door strat. Wildcats is becoming a synonym for NBA prep on both coasts now.
I think in Miller's offense as we know it now AG is a clear 4, and possibly a backup to brash. With RHJ the only real wing/combo forward on the team. So I post this to ask the other skilled analysts in this forum what they think. Will Miller try to fit another square peg in a round hole this year? Or will he play AG where he fits best? Or maybe will he show the whole nation he is an elite coach by changing his offense to fit the players he has? It seemed yesterday that we have a team of explosive athletes who would dominate in a system that runs the floor like so many wildcat teams of the past.
I'm not trying to be a downer here, but I think these are legitimate questions that will have a huge impact not only this year, but for the future of Arizona basketball. What do you guys think?
NBA prep vs. NCAA success
Aaron Gordon doesn't need to audition for the NBA. He'll get drafted in the top 5 next year whether he plays the 3,4,5 or whatever. Physically he's such a gifted athlete and NBA scouts alreay know what he can and can't do.
He is here at Arizona and he wants to win. Coach Miller will play him where ever he fits best for us to win. And AG will be happy about it because we'll be winning.
I don't think anyone thinks Coach Miller can't develop talent. Where's that coming from?