A look ahead: Small forward

Small forward will likely be one of the most stable positions on the roster next season. Read on to see why that is and more.

Basketball season may have ended only a few months ago, but it is never too early to look ahead. In this series of articles, we will be breaking down every position and taking a look at what the future holds.

Small forward is probably one of the most stable positions on Arizona's roster next year because the options are apparent.

When Rondae Jefferson announced that he was coming back to Arizona next season, he basically automatically became the starter at the three. Yes, he did well coming off the bench last season, but it is difficult to believe that Sean Miller will want a similar scenario.

Hollis-Jefferson will be able to successfully play small forward despite moving to the four last season when Brandon Ashley got injured. He has the ability to not only guard the opposing three but, depending on how Stanley Johnson does on defense, it would not be a surprise to see him guard the opposing shooting guard as well.

We have been consistent in saying that Stanley Johnson is going to play the two, but he is definitely going to play some at the three as well. It is his more natural position on both sides of the ball and Miller likes mixing and matching certain players, which is where Johnson comes in at small forward.

Once again, the wildcard at the three is Kadeem Allen. We have mentioned him at the point a little, but he is likely going to get his minutes at the two and three. We have no idea how good Allen is or what he is going to be able to do when he comes in, so it is hard to analyze just how much of an impact he will have.

What we do know is that Allen has the size and defensive ability to play the three, which is pretty much all he needs to play for Sean Miller. With Hollis-Jefferson and Johnson getting the majority of the minutes here, it is difficult to say just how much Allen will get, but we do think he will make an impact.

Another option at the small forward position is Elliott Pitts. We realize that most people think he is a shooting guard, but this comes down to minutes. Our guess is that Pitts gets playing time at both the two and the three, which is why we are talking about him here.

The expectation is that Pitts is going to make a big jump from last season and, if he does, his minutes will probably surprise some. Even if he makes an average jump, we would be surprised if Pitts' minutes do not increase.

No matter how you slice it, Miller has options at the small forward and it is definitely a situation that any coach would be happy about it.


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