Sean Miller said today he will probably keep his exhibition starting lineup for Sunday’s opener against Charleston Southern, but that’s no guarantee that anyone’s jobs are in cement.
Especially in the frontcourt, where Miller, as of now, is benching a high school all-American in Brandon Ashley. The starting lineup for UA’s two exhibition games was Kaleb Tarczewski and Grant Jerrett in the post, Solomon Hill at small forward and guards Nick Johnson and Mark Lyons.
“Especially in our frontcourt (the lineup) can change,” Miller said today, at his news conference. “But, for example, if Kaleb is starting and then doesn’t (start) that might not be a slight on Kaleb as much as a reward for somebody like Brandon Ashley or Angelo Chol.
“I can imagine through the course of a long season that we can change the lineup of our frontcourt. We’re counting on all four of those guys to play and that’s one of the strengths of our team. Hopefully with good health and continued development we can be that team from start to finish that plays that four players in the front line, which I know a lot of coaches would love to have.
“Angelo gives you something Kaleb doesn’t. Kaleb gives you things that Brandon doesn’t and we can continue to go across the board. When you put all four of those guys on the same team you have depth and talent that can really help.”
That said, Miller indicated he has a pretty good idea of the minutes distribution he is looking to give, a distribution that could be different Sunday if the game is closer than UA’s two exhibition blowouts.
“You can’t really control (the rotation) because circumstances change in games, and players get in foul trouble,” Miller said. “If one of our players has the hot hand they earn the right to say out there a little more. But we have a standard formula going into a game based on the practices that we’ve had. We’ve had 22 or 23 practices but also had a summer of practice and a trip to the Bahamas. I think we have a pretty good grasp of who deserves what right now.
“There’s no guarantee that because you played amount of minutes the last game (you will again). It’s tough to really look at the exhibition games because the score was so out of hand in our favor. That won’t continue. With that I think it will be more realistic moving forward. I’ve always played nine players. That doesn’t mean we will be playing nine, maybe eight, maybe 10. It’s determined on a daily basis way more than it’s determined on how that player is doing at the beginning of a game.”