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Parker Jackson-Cartwright (ankle) out vs. Eastern New Mexico

PJC should return for Sunday’s exhibition

2016 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational - Butler v Arizona Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Arizona Wildcats point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright will miss Wednesday’s exhibition vs. Eastern New Mexico with an ankle injury, head coach Sean Miller said Tuesday.

Miller said Jackson-Cartwright should return for Sunday’s exhibition vs. Chico State, and that the point guard should be “100 percent” for the regular season opener on Nov. 10 vs. NAU.

Miller said Jackson-Cartwright’s injury isn’t as severe as the high-ankle sprain that sidelined Jackson-Cartwright for nine games last year, but playing Wednesday is “an unnecessary risk.”

“He doesn’t have one of those sprains that he had a year ago,” Miller said. “This is more of a 7-to-10-day injury.”

Freshman point guard Alex Barcello is expected to start in Jackson-Cartwright’s place Wednesday.

Barcello, a former four-star recruit, had two points, three assists, and four rebounds in the Red-Blue Game.

“That’s always the silver lining,” Miller said. “When somebody goes down, it sounds like that’s what the coach is supposed to say, but it gives young players, especially, more of an opportunity. It will put Alex Barcello really under the microscope because Alex has been healthy and practiced exceptionally hard for the last couple weeks as he’s gotten a hang of our system.

“His development in some ways is sped up because you’re asking him almost to do more on a daily basis.”

Allonzo Trier will shift to point guard when Barcello comes out of the game. Trier’s assist percentage more than doubled last season, jumping from 7.6 to 16.6, showing major improvement as a distributor.

“It’s made him pass the ball and learn from a different perspective,” Miller said of Trier playing point guard. “I think you always want to have three point guards available because of foul trouble, so it’s strengthened that depth of the position because Allonzo is that guy. He’s the third point guard, somebody who can certainly play the position.”

Emmanuel Akot, previously an option at point guard, is practicing “almost exclusively” on the wing, Miller said.

Arizona will also be without guard Dylan Smith on Wednesday. The redshirt sophomore was suspended for a violation of team rules, and will miss UA’s two exhibitions and the regular season opener on Nov. 10.

Miller said Smith has been one of Arizona’s top seven players in practice. More on that can be found here.

Rawle Alkins (broken foot) remains out until December.


Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire