Arizona coach Sean Miller has extended point guard Josiah Turner's suspension for the rest of the season, though he stopped short of saying it was permanent at his weekly news conference today.
"When our season ends then we’ll be able to take the next step and get on the same page with Josiah moving forward," Miller said. "That shouldn’t be interpreted that he’ll never play at Arizona again but I know that he won’t play this season again."
Miller indefinitely suspended Turner before last week's Pac-12 Tournament and said then that he and Turner would discuss the situation upon the team's return home. He said today that the two would speak again after the season.
"It's as much his choice as mine. I'm not telling any player on our team that he doesn’t have the option to come back but it’s more about the path that Josiah wants to go from this point forward that will determine if he's at Arizona or whether he will choose to get a new beginning."
Turner was suspended indefinitely before the Pac-12 Tournament for unspecified violations of team rules. He had already been suspended for UA's Dec. 7 game at Florida for unspecified team rules violations, and was pulled from the starting lineup on Nov. 9 for being late to a pregame shootaround.
"Obviously, I would have loved to have had a start-to-finish freshman season with no off-the-court incidents or suspensions," Miller said. "They never help you become successful. But in terms of what’s going to make him become successful, this is the path I think will help him the most."
Miller said he didn't know yet if his recruiting will be affected this spring if Turner leaves. Miller said he expected to add at least one more player. He has one available scholarship as of now, with Sidiki Johnson having been dismissed in December.
Miller did not hide his disappointment that the Wildcats did not make the NCAA tournament field, though he said the goal now is to extend the season for the UA's seniors as long as possible.
"It's hard. It’s obviously very disappointing not to be a part of the tournament," Miller said. "But it’s tough to look at the NIT as kind of a developmental tournament or consolation prize, just because there are so many teams in the NIT that, if they were in the tournament, would be capable of winning a game or two.
"If you have that (development) mindset you won't be in the NIT very long. For us, it’s to have that same mentality that we had in the Pac-12 tournament, knowing that this time when we lose, we’re done."
Miller said guard Jordin Mayes' foot is fine after he played three games in three days during the Pac-12 Tournament, and that he expected Mayes and Nick Johnson to continue splitting up point guard duties as they did last week. Mayes played 23 minutes and Johnson 27 against Colorado.
UA says it has sold over 5,000 tickets already for Wednesday's game, including 2,100 presold tickets. Only about 1,500 reserved seats remain, shown in red on this map.
Reserved seats are $25 and general admission tickets are $15.
UA's online ticket page can be found via this link.