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Why Gabe York Should Start

October 12th, 2014 News 15 Comments

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Ivy Hunt-Ashram

This article isn’t about anyone but Gabe York.

For the last two seasons York has put in the work, but gotten very little chance to shine. It was a product of being on supremely talented rosters.

But as a junior, with a more mature game and more experience, York should be starting.

Up until now the prevailing talk has been about what York couldn’t do to get on the court. Now let’s talk about what he can do to stay on it.

That starts with three point shooting. York is the best long range shooter on the team, and it’s not even close. Fellow junior Brandon Ashley, a power forward, is a distant second. That alone gives York a unique importance to this team.

If Rondae Hollis-Jefferson can’t get to the rim, or if teams are denying Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski the ball, York can be the guy to open up the floor for everybody. Spacing is critical in basketball, and York’s shot can create it for the four other players on the court.

Let’s not make the mistake of labeling York a one dimensional player, though. Sure, he’s a threat to the defense when he’s camped out on the perimeter ready to catch and shoot, and that’s where he should be most of the time.

But York’s athleticism and ball handling ability should translate to attempts at the rim, and an all-around weaker defensive gameplan against him. If teams have to respect York’s ability to drive, he becomes so much more than a three point specialist.

York has everything you want in a shooting guard, he’s athletic, unselfish, and most importantly he’s the purest shooter on the team.

He also has another thing you want in a starter: experience.

This won’t be the York you saw as a freshman or even as a sophomore. There’s a natural maturation process that happens when you go through the gauntlet that is college basketball.

Arizona’s newcomers will learn that in a baptism by fire. The speed and intensity of the college game makes the high school level look like backyard pick up games. Not every player can enter the program and fit in seamlessly on a top caliber team like Aaron Gordon did.

That’s why Arizona will need to lean on York to show the new players the way. He’s no longer one of the new guys, he’s the veteran who has to bring along the new guys.

Perhaps the most important reason why York needs to be in the starting lineup is that he’s earned it. He showed patience and a willingness to learn while playing the reserve role for two seasons. If he can continue to perform in practice, he should be rewarded for that sacrifice.

York could have easily transferred by now, possibly playing big minutes at a major program. But he stayed loyal to the program and respected the process. Now it’s time to see that process come to fruition in the 2014-15 version of Gabe York.

Whether York starts or not ultimately doesn’t matter, as Arizona will have six starter quality players that will all see their fair share of minutes. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the “Six Starters” theme start to trend as the season goes on.

But if you ask me, York should be a starter.

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15 Responses to “Why Gabe York Should Start”

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  1. Justin

    October 12, 2014
    Reply

    Ok, so who do you think should come off the bench? My opinion is Rondae. He’s an amazing spark plug, and would do more off the bench than any of the other possibilities.

    I like the idea of TJ, York, Stanley, Ashley, Zeus.

  2. Buzzard

    October 12, 2014
    Reply

    OUTSTANDING write up!
    “Perhaps the most important reason why York needs to be in the starting lineup is that he’s earned it.” You damn Skippy!
    YORK CITY ALL DAAYYY

  3. M20

    October 12, 2014
    Reply

    Stan may be the highest drafted 6th man ever if York is starting…

  4. David

    October 13, 2014
    Reply

    York will be the starter. It is just very difficult for any newcomer, no matter how talented, to adjust to a demanding college coach such as Sean Miller – AG was an exceptional defensive player whose defensive style was favored by a defensive minded coach at the time.
    This is just one man’s opinion here.

  5. Jeff

    October 13, 2014
    Reply

    I hope York is as good this season as the article implies he is. If York is a purer shooter than Pitts and can drive to the rim well, those are great signs. Oh, and York had plenty of opportunity to shine in the post-Ashley injury games last year, including the NCAA tournament games. He performed well at times, but struggled in the tournament.

  6. john t.

    October 13, 2014
    Reply

    While it can be fun to speculate, starting positions will be earned in practice and based upon coach Miller’s best sense of which group can start the game off in sync. That may be Gabe, and that would be a great accomplishment for him, but I think we all know that coach will play who he wants, when he wants, with only one objective — winning.

  7. Papadeuce

    October 13, 2014
    Reply

    Gonna be fascinating to watch our lineups come together. Miller has his work cut out for him this season!

  8. coolcat

    October 13, 2014
    Reply

    If york is the best player in practice or if it is even pretty close he should start. If Stanley and Rondae or Elliot or Allen are better then he should not start. Its really that simple and the process will play out for the betterment of the team.

  9. mvpreed2

    October 13, 2014
    Reply

    To see York start the season would be a sign of Miller showing trust in York and allowing him the opportunity to see if he can withstand the responsibility of being our starting SG and floor-spacer.
    One thing I do know is that if he isn’t able to do whatever it is that Miller has asked of him then he won’t be starting for long.

  10. MrV

    October 13, 2014
    Reply

    The bottom line is players start that give their teams the best chance to win so I don’t understand why all this talk about ‘sacrifice’, ‘reward’,’ earned it’ is relevant.

  11. DoubleJ

    October 13, 2014
    Reply

    It’s nice to hear some advocacy for York. I think it would be cool if MIller was more fluid with the starting line-up, based on the opponent and the potential benefits of flexibility and resilience guys could learn from playing different roles. I could see TJ starting every game and the other 4 rotating based on opponents. It could prove dividends in the tournament to have guys ready to play, not attached to rigidity of roles (i.e. “starter,” “non-starter”).

  12. victor

    October 14, 2014
    Reply

    On the one hand, it’s important to reward upperclassmen for their loyalty and commitment to the program. On the other hand, it’s hard to keep RHJ or Stanley off the court. Although York may not be one-dimensional, both of those guys bring athleticism and intensity that York simply can’t match. He may begin the season starting, but he won’t end the season that way.

  13. Mike Goldthwaite

    October 14, 2014
    Reply

    Here’s how I see it. Three point shooters in the NBA, the way Steve Kerr was, are still important. How many points did Michael Jordan get or assist in because Steve Kerr parked himself on the perimeter and kept defenses spread wide?

    That said, York shouldn’t worry about keeping his starting position if that’s what develops. So long as he’s coming in games and producing in key situations, popping in a respectable percentage of 3’s, he can make it to the NBA. And let’s face it, the NBA respects the way Arizona molds its players; it should not only draft York (again, if he does well), it should give him a fair opportunity to stay there. York is more athletic than Steve Kerr was. Once in the NBA, Kerr’s 3 pointer, over time, never floundered. Even if York’s does, he can still slash his way inside to shoot or dump off.

  14. John Tripp

    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Obviously who we are ROOTING for to win the starting spot means less than nothing.The best team will take the floor.It doesnt matter who the coach is, Miller,Olson,or coach K.The coachs JOB is to win as many games as he possibly can.With that being said I hope people understand that rewarding someone for good behavior happens in prison, occasionally.Outside of the U.S. judicial system you can forget about it.These coachs are the top shelf!They are not getting paid to reward someone for being a good boy.They are paid to put asses into the seats.Which leads me to my point.Talent wins ballgames.The fact that we got anybody as highly skilled as Stanley Johnson is a testament to the succes of our program.To think of him sitting while he watches an inferior athlete start is something that might happen eslewhere but does not happen at Arizona.

  15. Motley

    October 20, 2014
    Reply

    I always felt the team has a ton of SG and the lineups/rotations would be better with York starting and either RHJ or Johnson coming off the bench as the 6th man. I think the article misses Pitts as a 3 point shooter,.. and Allen is not bad either. (both could play some SG time). The fact that Arizona is overloaded at the guards and lacks some depth in the front court means that you will see York more at the SG than Johnson, for you everyone shifting up a spot for rotation when Zeus or Ashley is on the bench for breathers or foul issues (which hopefully don’t occur often). Ristic won’t see much time,.. Craig a little bit. You will see RHJ slide up to PF at times, when Johnson is in at SF.

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