Every year, Arizona fans talk about how exciting the upcoming team will be, and this year is no exception. Arizona has a strong roster filled with talent, quite possibly Sean Miller's deepest group he's had at Arizona. There's just one problem.
There's six guys who will be fighting for minutes at the guard positions.
Parker Jackson-Cartwright holds the most experience at point guard, but not much, averaging 9.6 minutes a game, appearing in all but four games this season. His size is what hurts him the most. At 5-9, he can be a defensive liability going up against some of the bigger guards in the Pac-12. His size also requires him to get more space on offense, although he's fearless at times when he drives to the rim. As of now, it's safe to assume PJC will be in Tucson for four years.
Justin Simon: At 6-4, he seems more than capable of coming in immediately to run the offense, but has yet to practice with the team. He's an athletic guard with great length and defense. He can attack the rim and shoot when he needs to, but needs some time to develop. He could very well be a four-year guy for Arizona, but could easily go his second or third year, especially considering his size.
Kadeem Allen is a huge, but good, question mark for Arizona. Can he fill the role of point guard as a volume shooter or will he split time with Allonzo Trier? He's a high-volume shooter that received high praise from Brandon Ashley and T.J. McConnell for the past year. There are some pretty high expectations for him as the 2013 NJCAA Player of the Year.
Allonzo Trier headlines the 2015 recruiting class, as one of the most aggressive scorers across the country. Playing with Sean Miller on the U19 USA team will certainly help him grow accustomed to the offense and how Sean Miller works, but he's yet to run through an Arizona practice. It might be safe to say that he's the starter on day one, but expect Kadeem Allen to take some of those minutes away.
Gabe York is severely under appreciated at Arizona. The guy went from playing just six minutes a game his freshman year, to coming off the bench in a larger role his sophomore year, to being the fearless shooter that opened up the floor. Now, it's time for him to step up as a senior leader. It's hard to gauge where he'll fall in the lineup, simply due to the projected depth, but throughout the course of the season, he will be contributing big time to this team.
Elliott Pitts has almost followed the exact footsteps of Gabe York. He provides solid minutes, but this is where things really get crowded in the back court. He's a streaky shooter that probably needs to shoot even more than he does. It took Gabe York a full two years to muster up his confidence, so we'll see what Pitts can do in year three. We just really hope he sees the long-term benefits and doesn't have the thoughts of transferring.
What could happen here is having Justin Simon and PJC virtually split minutes, PJC was able to run the offense in blowout games, skewing his minutes per games average. But there were many times throughout the season when PJC would enter the game and wouldn't even make it to the next media timeout.
Some people believe that Kadeem Allen can run the point, but for now I'll keep him as the two guard. Allonzo Trier is probably the starter, but the minutes could be split with Allen. Then there's Gabe York, who could easily float between the point and shooting guard, averaging close to 25-30 minutes a game.
And then there's Elliott Pitts, who is just the odd man out here. There's an influx of talent coming in with Simon, Trier and Allen, which pushes Pitts back a bit on the depth chart. If someone were to go down late in the season, Pitts is very capable of filling in, coming off the bench as the sixth viable guard.
There's still a long way to go before the season, but the depth in the back court and how Sean Miller will utilize the talent will be something to watch for.