Miller defends his point guard

Arizona point guard Mark Lyons has seen some increased criticism as of late. Read on to see what Sean Miller thinks of his play, where Arizona would be without him, and more.

Mark Lyons will be playing his final home game in an Arizona uniform on Saturday against Arizona State.

It is unknown what type of reaction he will get when his name is announced, although common sense would say that it will mostly be positive.

However, in Sean Miller's eyes, Arizona would not be where it is now if it was not for the performance of Lyons throughout the season.

"I don't know if we'd have 23 wins without Mark," Miller said. "As a matter of fact, I do know. We wouldn't."

Lyons, like any player, has had his struggles this season. In addition to those struggles, he has stepped up and delivered in clutch moments.

Without Lyons coming up big in those crucial moments, it is difficult to say whether or not Arizona would have beaten some of the teams that it has this season.

"He's given us a clutch performer," Miller said. "He's terrific at the end of games. The number of games he went to the foul line and won may be anywhere between five, eight, nine."

Some people may have expected Lyons to come in and be a true point guard, leading the offense in ways that former Arizona point guards have done. Instead, Lyons has brought a style of play that a lot of Arizona fans are not used to.

While that may be disappointing to some, Miller says he knew exactly what he was getting when he added Lyons to the mix.

"Mark is not your prototypical point guard and we knew that when he came here," Miller said. "But I believe he's given our team a confidence level, extra firepower and an added quality, and I think he's done a really good job for our team."

One of the main reasons Miller feels that Lyons is seeing increased criticism, or at least increased attention, is because Arizona has struggled a bit as of late.

"When you lose a couple, the spotlight always goes on the team, the coach, certain players," Miller said. "We just came off back-to-back losses. I understand that.

"But if we win the Pac-12 or we win one of those two games in L.A., you don't put the spotlight on that as much as you do the positives. Mark's been a real positive for our season."


Wildcat Authority Top Stories