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When you look at Arizona’s roster, small forward is one of the positions that is basically impossible to label.
Even though we tend to name five positions in a starting lineup, the reality is that this season’s team is going to have numerous players that can play a variety of positions.
The return of Allonzo Trier is a large component of this. Even last season, would we label him as a shooting guard or small forward when Gabe York was on the court?
The label just doesn’t matter to players like Trier because his overall duties won’t change much, as he will very likely be the main offensive weapon.
You could probably say the same thing for Rawle Alkins, Terrance Ferguson, and Ray Smith. Each of those three players can play the two and even some four as well if Arizona needs them too.
Smith is the likeliest of the bunch to play the four because of his size, but Arizona could definitely go small and, once again, get rid of the position labels that we tend to use.
So what does this all mean for Arizona’s roster next season?
It means that Miller is going to have a bunch of options and while Arizona is loaded with talent, his job won’t be easy because he will need to mix and match in order to make everybody happy and find the right lineup.
That’s definitely a good problem to have and one that most coaches would love to deal with.
Arizona’s lineup is going to consistently have major scoring threats and the exciting part for Miller is that each of them will want to defend as well.
There is no issue with going with a lineup that has Alkins and Ferguson or Trier and Alkins or Ferguson and Trier.
Each lineup is going to bring be difficult for the opposition to game plan for. If you match Trier’s driving ability with Ferguson’s shooting, you’re going to get plenty off open shots for the freshman because some teams will have to double in the paint.
You can run isolation situations with Akins and Trier because most teams won’t have players strong or good enough to guard them individually, but those dame teams also won’t have a choice but to.
Make no mistake about it, Arizona’s issues next season have nothing to do with talent and “small forward” is the perfect indication of that.
If Miller can get players to get along and play as a cohesive unit, Arizona could be even better than some think.