NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: Deville Smith #33 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs drives the ball against Josiah Turner #11 of the Arizona WIldcats during the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches Vs Cancer at Madison Square Garden on November 18, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Josiah Turner, the Arizona Wildcats' freshman point guard, was suspended for Wednesday's game against the Florida Gators, but it appears that he'll be available for Saturday's match-up with the Clemson Tigers, according to Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star.
Pascoe confirmed with UA officials that it was a one-game suspension, and Nick Johnson told the media on Friday that Turner was still on the squad and ready to go.
But after Johnson saw his first start at point guard Wednesday so that Kevin Parrom could get some run with the starters, it's a wonder where Turner fits in.Turner was starting to turn it on -- Miller mentioned he'd take a look at throwing him back into the starting lineup --but his off-court troubles are killing his chances to contribute. Furthermore, Miller told Pascoe after the game that he'd like to get Jordin Mayes out of his current funk, so whose playing time gets cut becomes the question as Arizona faces Clemson in McKale Center.
The month of December will be huge for Miller and how he determines where to go with the guard situation.
Should Mayes break out and start hitting shots, he will be a key asset come tournament time. As I wrote after the NAU game, the Wildcats need all the shooting help they can get. Mayes and fellow guard Brendon Lavender, who I think shouldn't be counted out as a key contributor, are both going to help Arizona in that regard.
So that leaves me wondering how Turner is going to get his playing time. Sure, it's still early in the season, and Miller will be liberal in giving players chances.
However, come January and Pac-12 play, Miller's going to need to get wins to propel Arizona into a solid NCAA tournament team.
It's looking like Miller will stick with his new starting lineup and play Nick Johnson at the point guard spot. That's putting the five best players on the floor, and Turner's taken himself out of that conversation thus far.