Arizona has had a superb defensive stopper the last few seasons, whether it was Aaron Gordon or Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
This season, Sean Miller has not been able to find that player, though Kadeem Allen and Elliott Pitts could be the closest thing on the current team.
“I think both of them have that role and there are a lot of factors that dictate that, one of which is the offensive part of the things, who is in the game and who’s not, is the player more on the ball or off the ball, etc,” Miller said.
Elliott Pitts has been inconsistent this season, but Miller believes that has to do more with the overall defensive effort rather than his individually.
“In California, Elliott guarded Brownridge quite a bit and he was on Dunn when he hit a couple of shots,” Miller said. “I told Elliott the film doesn’t lie.
“Elliott did a tremendous job in his effort in being in the right place at the right time. So many of the situations were team defensive breakdown where we had a lack of ball pressure and a lack of effort. Sometimes it was the guy guarding the screen and he didn’t help enough.”
If there is one aspect of his defense that needs to improve the most, Miller would like to see Pitts foul less.
“I think the next step for Elliott as a defender and he is starting to make progress, is fouling,” Miller said.
“That to me is the real story, going back to the Providence game. I haven’t seen a player ever in college basketball at the guard position better than Kris Dunn. Ever. I have 25 seasons to back it up.
“His defense, his size, his command of the game, assists wise. What he does at the end of the game, he’s a special player in our game. Whoever guarded him and whoever does has their hands full and we certainly did, no question."