What's next for Arizona now that Ray Smith is out for the season?

What lineups could Arizona go to now that Ray Smith is out for the season with a knee injury?

With the news of Ray Smith’s season-ending ACL injury, speculation automatically turns to the potential lineups Arizona will now go through.

Just as a note, we are projecting Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Gabe York to start, though sources say Kadeem Allen and Allonzo Trier have practiced well lately.

PG: Parker Jackson-Cartwright

SG: Gabe York

SF: Elliott Pitts

PF: Ryan Anderson

C: Kaleb Tarczewski

Pitts may come as a surprise to some, but sources say he has been practicing really well. Remember, Sean Miller often goes with what he trusts and he knows exactly what Pitts is going to give him on a nightly basis. 

This does not necessarily mean that Pitts will get the most minutes at the three, but he is Arizona’s best wing defender right now and that goes a long way when you play for Sean Miller.

PG: Parker Jackson-Cartwright

SG: Gabe York

SF: Mark Tollefsen

PF: Ryan Anderson

C: Kaleb Tarczewski

This is probably the other option that is the most likely. The main concern here is defensively, as we have doubts that Tollefsen can successful guard opposing small forwards. He is certainly good enough offensively, but we’ve said it again and again, you have to be good defensively to play for Miller. Even if he does not start at the three, Tollefsen will see plenty of minutes there.

PG: Parker Jackson-Carwright

SG: Gabe York

SF: Allonzo Trier

PF: Ryan Anderson

C: Kaleb Tarczewski

We don’t see this as likely, but it is definitely intriguing. Offense would not be an issue and Arizona would have three guys that can handle the ball. The big issue here is that Arizona’s defense is going to suffer and you go from a team having good height to one playing three guards. 

PG: Parker Jackson-Cartwright

SG: Gabe York

SF: Justin Simon

PF: Ryan Anderson

C: Kaleb Tarczewski

Why not replace one freshman with another? There would be an offensive drop-off and learning curve, but Simon is probably ready to be effective on defense right now. It also allows the growing process to start early and gets him in good shape for next season.

Even if Simon does not start at the three, his minutes just went up. He is going to see time there and has a chance to make an impact his freshman year, which at one point certainly looked less likely than it does now. 


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