Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
Sean Miller really only uses seven players. But he has 10 good ones. This is certainly perplexing, as Miller is taking one of his biggest advantages (a supremely deep team) and disregarding it.
While it is easy to say that a tight lineup creates more chemistry on the court, especially important in a motion offense like Miller's, the recent trends argue against this. The Arizona team has been getting worse both offensively and defensively as the season has progressed. The chemistry is on the decline and the tight rotation isn't producing. A mix-up would do some good.
If Miller's "extras" were not contributing, the lack of playing time would make sense. But again, this is not the case. Angelo Chol may be the best ninth man in the country. When he enters the game, the Arizona team is different, but many times better.
While not the rebounder Kaleb Tarczewski is, he is more athletic, a better finisher, a better shot-blocker and has better hands. Miller's marriage to Tarczewski is understandable, but Chol should play more.
Another underutilized talent is Jordin Mayes. The junior point guard showed against UCLA what type of impact he could have. Going against one of the premier point guards in the nation, Mayes was very strong. He shot the ball well, was solid with his handles and created good offense for his teammates.
None of those things could be said about Mark Lyons. While this is just one game, it was Mayes first chance in quite some time to play solid minutes. And he performed. Adding a guy to the lineup who has three years experience and who has shown he can contribute is a no-brainer.
Lastly, Gabe York is better than a garbage-time player. Getting a few "real" minutes for such a dynamic offensive player would not be detrimental. He would add some firepower and a change of pace.
A coach's playing rotation is usually set three-fourths of the way through the season, and I am sure Miller's is, but the team would be better if he took advantage of his bench's depth.