Miller's confidence in guards growing

Sean Miller met with the media on Thursday to discuss numerous topics. Read on to see his thoughts on the guard play from the Bahamas and in the future.

The Arizona Wildcats men's basketball program is feeling a little comfortable after being able to have 10 practices together and traveling to the Bahamas to compete against international teams.

Arizona performed well, winning one contest 136-66 then following that with a 99-57 win. The team has traveled back to Tucson as the fall semester started this week and the more practice is right over the horizon.

Sean Miller met with the media on Thursday afternoon for his summer wrap up presser and he seemed to have this calm about him that he has not had on a consistent basis during his time in Tucson.

Miller will always be a bit cautious, but definitely has a reason to hold his head high before the season starts.

"We have flexibility," said Miller on the depth of his backcourt. "Kevin Parrom and Solomon [Hill] playing together at the two and three gives us a bigger lineup and it gives us a more physical team. It gives us, maybe from the experience perspective, the most experienced team we can put out there as well.

"I'm not saying that is a foregone conclusion that it is going to happen, but there is no question that playing [Parrom] some at the two is what we are going to do."

Going into the 2011-2012 season, Arizona was excited about having a top rated point guard come in to perhaps fill a dynamic void that was left by Derrick Williams. It didn't happen, but help has arrived. Mark Lyons got his first taste of what it will be like running the point at Arizona and his impact was felt on both sides of the ball.

"I got away from recognizing that maybe the best thing that he does is how quick he is on defense," explained Miller. "[Lyons] is very old by today's standards of college basketball. He's been through a ton of practices and he is been in big games. He not only has ability on defense but he also has the know-how.

"When you add a new player to your team, they don't have both, they have one or the other. They are good from the ability perspective, but they don't have the experience. It's so unique to add a guy with his mindset and experience on the defensive end."

Lyons averaged 18.5 points in the two games in the Bahamas, which was tops on the team and may be a sign of things to come.

"Point guards have to be themselves," said Miller. "To try and make him somebody who doesn't think scoring wouldn't allow him to be the best basketball player that he can be.

"There will always be those times where he will look to score. I think that comes more natural to him, but just being able to run our team, being able to make clever plays, and make his teammates better.

"His experience is his greatest gift there. It's not as if we're trying to teach someone who hasn't been through a college basketball season how to play point guard."

Having that leadership at the point will be necessary, but it does not mean that Lyons will be subjected to that position at all times. Again, Arizona has options at guard.

"As I've watched Nick Johnson and Jordin Mayes you can always, as time evolves here, put Mark in a scoring role and have those guys be what you call more of the point guard, and vice versa," said Miller. "That's some flexibility that we have in our backcourt."

Mayes is healthy, like Parrom, and it has been showing in practices and in the Bahamas according to his coaches. "This summer has been much different for him," Miller explained. "He has played nonstop, been healthy and has been here all summer like Kevin Parrom has. I thought his experience and his health really showed in the Bahamas like it did with Kevin Parrom.

"There would be a lot of programs that would love to have Jordin because he can do a lot of things, one of which is shooting the basketball. When you look at his shooting percentage from last year you can see that he was never quite the same, especially when you compare that to him as a freshman."

Being healthy is important to Mayes, Parrom and Arizona. Mayes has a chance to compete for the starting point guard position in his junior season even though it will be tough to beat out a veteran in Lyons.

While Mayes looks like he's back to 100 percent, the same can be said for Parrom. Miller may be most excited to have Parrom back and thinks he is poised to have a very big senior season.

"Watching Kevin Parrom in the Bahamas, you say what's the biggest thing that you learned,?" Miller said. "I think that trip is more valuable for him than any player on our team because of the obvious of what he went through a year ago.

If he had any doubt in his mind if he could return to form or be better than he was, he answered that. Not only with how he played in the Bahamas, but with how he practiced.

"The whole summer that he has had leading up to this point. I knock on wood when I say it, but I hope he can go from start to finish healthy and if he can I think we're going to have a player that if we would have had a year ago, that the outcome of a lot of close games would have been different."

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