2015-16 Countdown

Arizona Wildcats hoops slideshow countdown: We’re at 11 days and counting to tipoff


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The ideal rotation for Sean Miller has proven to be seven to nine players, with mostly seven players averaging double-figure minutes.

In the last two years, the last player to average double-figure minutes was the seventh player in the rotation: A very high total of 21.8 minutes by Gabe York in 2013-14 and 14.9 by Elliott Pitts last year.

In his first three years, Miller utilized at least nine players who averaged double-figure minutes. The number declined to eight in 2012-13 and then seven the last two seasons.

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This year’s roster shapes up to be like Miller’s first three seasons, when he was forced to experiment with different combinations while trying to build a foundation for the program. No dominant minute guys exist like a Nick Johnson (33.1 minutes a game in 2013-14) and Solomon Hill (33.0 in 2012-13).

Overall, Miller does not rely heavily on his star players for minutes. Derrick Williams is the most dominant player in the Miller years, yet he averaged only 30 minutes a game when he became a sensation as a sophomore in 2010-11. That means Williams spent an average of 25 percent of his time that magical Elite Eight season on the bench.

The lottery picks the last two years — Aaron Gordon and Stanley Johnson — did not lead the Wildcats in minutes played in their only seasons with the Wildcats.

Gordon was third at 31.2 minutes a game in 2013-14 and Johnson was also third at 28.4 minutes a game last year.

With Miller liking to spread the minutes, how does this year’s roster shape up for minutes distribution per game? Here’s one prediction (a player may not average more than 30 for the first time in the Miller era):

Ryan Anderson — 30
Kaleb Tarczewski — 27
Gabe York — 25
Parker Jackson-Cartwright — 22
Allonzo Trier — 20
Mark Tollefsen — 19
Dusan Ristic — 16
Elliott Pitts — 15
Kadeem Allen — 11
Justin Simon — 8
Chance Comanche — 5
Trey Mason — 1
Jacob Hazzard — 1

That’s nine players who will average double-figure minutes, which Arizona’s national title runner-up team in 2000-01 featured.

Keep in mind that it seemed like Jackson-Cartwright made an impact last year backing up T.J. McConnell, but Jackson-Cartwright did not average double-figure minutes (9.6). Ristic averaged 8.6.

In other words, players like Allen, Simon and possibly Comanche (if he does not redshirt) can still have games in which they will play a significant role in Miller’s system.

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MINUTES DISTRIBUTION

Sean Miller teams at Arizona
Number indicates amount of players averaging double-figure minutes. Most is the highest average and fewest is the lowest among those who averaged double-figure minutes.

Year No. Most Fewest
2014-15 7 30.5 14.9
2013-14 7 33.1 21.8
2012-13 8 33.0 11.8
2011-12 9 32.4 12.2
2010-11 9 30.0 10.7
2009-10 9 32.9 10.9

Final Four teams at Arizona
Number indicates amount of players averaging double-figure minutes. Most is the highest average and fewest is the lowest among those who averaged double-figure minutes.

Year No. Most Fewest
2000-01 9 32.4 10.3
1996-97 8 32.6 12.0
1993-94 7 33.2 12.7
1987-88 8 32.6 12.2

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