As much as I want to blame Miller for everything - when it comes to PG's - he has just had some really rotten luck.
(247 national rankings - stats are for their AZ careers only)
2009 - Momo Jones - #10 PG, #83 overall
Started 2009/10 & 2010/11
.265 3 PT%
Plays 2 years at AZ and transfers to Iona to be closer to family. Although I recall him as solid player, his numbers are terrible for a PG Especially A:TO ratio and 3pt%.
2010 - Jordin Mayes - #29 Combo Guard #119 overall
2011 - Josiah Turner - #3 PG, #11 overall
.226 3 PT%
1 year at AZ. Turner was 2011's version of Mannion. The reports were glowing....the Bleacher Report article below calls him the #5 of the top ten busts of a DECADE (Grant Jarrett is #10). Painful read. https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2544114-ranking-college-basketballs-biggest-5-star-busts-of-the-past-decade#slide17
Turner and MoMo gave us three years of extremely low assist numbers for the PG, extremely poor A:TO ratio and incredibly bad 3 point shooting. MoMo became a major scorer (19 Ppg) at Iona and Turner left for basketball oblivion. Both should have been significantly better at AZ.
2012 (TRANSFER) - Mark Lyons
.333 3 PT%
There had to be a point in the 2012 season where Miller thought to himself..."what do I have to do?" In his fourth year the A:TO ratio for his starting point guard went down...from dismal to horrendous. Lyons, was, at least, a better scorer.
2013 (TRANSFER) - TJ McConnell
Started 2013/14, 2014/15
.343 3 PT%
Literally the only AZ good PG of the Miller era (so far) - his stats are that of an elite PG and he was loaded with intangibles and high BB IQ. Although his numbers were better at Duquesne, that is likely due to the respective systems and competition.
2014 - Parker Jackson Cartwright #12 PG, #50 overall
Started 2015/16(split starting PG with Allen), 2016/17, 2017/18
3.15 A:TO (as a starter, JR & SR)
.406 3 PT%
Statistically, Miller's BEST PG. He WAS/IS too short....but honestly I have to say that TJ is the only better PG we have had. He started on two of the worst chemistry teams at AZ ever... the pieces its did not fit together well on the court for a few years there. Selfish Trier, total bust Zues, Graduate transfer Anderson, misfit York, bewildered Tollefson, euroball Ristic... that was a very weird mix of players without skills that complemented each other especially well. The Pitts/Mason issue split the team in the locker room. Followed by the bizarre Markkanen/Simmons season. I don't think his height was more than 20% of the issue - replace MoMo Jones early on with PJC and bet we get a final four out of that team.
2014 (JC) - Kadeem Allen #1 JC Combo Guard #2 JC player overall.
Started 2015/16 (split starting PG with PJC)
.400 3 PT%
Back to the poor A:TO ratio and Allen in JC was the nations leading scorer but that was only worth 9 Ppg at AZ...
2015 - Justin Simon #8 PG, #23 overall
NEVER STARTED AT AZ
.333 3 PT%
A 6'5" PG who could not beat PJC out. By all counts he was a major sleeper in that recruiting class and many thought he would excel in college. He did. At St Johns. 4.5 Apg, 3.65 A:TO ration, 11 points per game. .351 3PT%...Would have been interesting to have him develop and play 4 years here. Because he sat out a year, he has year left.
2016 - Kobi Simmons #3 Combo Guard, #26 overall
Never started at PG - but is probably the third best PG after TJ and PJC.
In extremely limited minutes:
.327 3 PT%
PER, BIRD and per minute, Simmons is one of the best players Miller has had. He peaked @ #3 UCLA which was on a tear that year, scoring 20 points, 5 assists, 2 steals, 6 rebounds...the notion he was lazy on defense is B.S. - he was, after Markkanen, the best player on the floor and it was not even close. He actually played more efficiently after Trier came back and for 5-6 games they played together, often on the floor at the same time. Then Miller benched him with no public explanation. He was a positive, smiling and supportive teammate on the bench, if he had an attitude problem, it never showed during game. When he left he said great things and continues to be supportive of AZ...IMO, Simmons is the best pure talent and has the most upside of any player Miller has recruited not named Derrick, DeAndre, Aaron or Lauri. I would rate him somewhere with Stanimal and RHJ - he just needed to develop and he picked the wrong program.
2017 - Alex Barcello #17 PG, #83 overall
Never started at PG
.297 3 PT%
1/2 way through his eligibility...Barcello is not even remotely good. Along with Turner - a total bust. Given the recruiting and timing, he was clearly Miller's choice for a long term, starting PG. Not blaming Miller, but damn...rotten luck. He has two years left...maybe he will emerge as a more viable back up and judging assists with this past years team... brutal. I doubt John Stockton could get many assists on this past years team.
2018 - Brandon Wiliams #8 PG, #34 overall
.316 3 PT%
2018 (TRANSFER) Justin Coleman
.360 3 PT%
Miller said it seemed like he'd been here for four years. Yes..four long, miserable, drive the lane and get stuffed 10 times per game, years. A calm steady player...nowhere near good enough to be the starting PG at AZ... he was by default because we had no one else. That is not because of Schlabach, that's because Simon transferred and Barcelo busted.
2018 - Brandon Wiliams #8 PG, #34 overall
Started at the 2 guard mostly - not really a PG.
.316 3 PT%
OK...these are number that a freshmen should have - a freshmen who will stick around 3 or 4 years to develop. Of course, that will never happen. But these are not AZ starting PG good numbers. I do not see what others seem to in Williams. He does not seem especially athletic, he's not really quick or fast, he cannot/does not drive, no one the entire team finishes strong but he's one of the worst, he does not shoot especially well and does not really create his own shot. He's not a pure PG, not a great floor general, not good in transition (although no player in Miller's system ever is). He reminds me of Allen - he seems to be more of a combo guard and thats not a bad thing, just yet another player who is not a pure PG and cannot lead the team. There is a reason PJC and TJ were the best PG's of Millers tenure...they are the only two who really fit the basic description.
2019 - Nico Mannion #1 PG, #10 overall
Yes, I get it, he is finally the point guard that Miller wanted all along. Never mind we said the same thing about every PG recruit from MoMo to Williams and TJ (who no one knew what to expect from and who did not get that type of praise) is maybe the only one who actually was.
I am bothered by the fact that his senior year highlight tape did not include 1 single assist. Not one. Lots of dunks...which won't happen much in the pac12 and lots of mid range jumpers - which is now a shot for losing teams in basketball (see: advanced analytics, golden state warriors, current basketball theory). Seriously what idiot makes highlight tape of a point guard and puts in zero assists but 75% dunks?
Some of these issues are on Miller (Simmons and not changing his ideas with the times) but (and I hate to admit it) most of these PG issues seem well outside of his control. He needs to stabilize the PG position - it is foundational for any program.
Hopefully Mannion turns Miller's luck around at the PG spot...but if he is that good, he's here for only 1 year. If he's not, he'll playing behind Williams and Barcello and we're right back in the same situation we are in now.