Arizona’s continues to struggle with a lack of depth, but it is also allowing other players to improve faster.
“We’re at seven, but the hard part for us is a lot of times teams suffer through some injuries and adversity, but you look at the calendar and it’s February or January,” Sean Miller said.
“For us, we’ve really been hit with these things at the beginning. I think the good news for us is that it’s allowing these types of guys to have a lot on their plates, a big role, a lot of experience.”
Parker Jackson-Cartwright’s injury is one that impacts everybody on the team and forces players to play at an unnatural position.
“No question, (PJC’s absence) really affects everything and everybody,” Miller said.
“Rawle Alkins, for example, has played mostly the three. We’ve given him some reps at the two and he played as many at two as three.
“Lauri -- God bless him -- I’ve never seen a freshman play three positions like he has. He played mostly the small forward, which is very difficult if you’re 7-foot.”
Those two freshmen have been two of the standouts for Arizona.
“I think all of our freshman have done a good job adjusting,” Miller said. “Certainly, Lauri has played three positions; he’s done everything.
“That’s usually what you ask a senior to do, like Kadeem Allen. And really ditto for Rawle. Rawle has done a lot of great things.”
However, Arizona’s defense has been negative impacted.
“It affects everything and everybody,” Miller said. “Our zone offense, our underneath out of bounds offense. Defensively it really affects you.”
“Our one-on-one defense needs to get a little better. I thought Chance (Comanche) and Dusan (Ristic), that was a tough task for both of those guys (against Gonzaga). Now that they’ve played against somebody like him hopefully they’ll be ready for the next time.”