Arizona freshman point guard Josiah Turner will remain on suspension for the rest of the season, with his fate with the Wildcats to be determined after the season.
“It’s as much his choice as mine,” coach Sean Miller said at a news conference Monday afternoon.
Miller suspended Turner for an undisclosed violation of team rules before the Pac-12 tournament, where Turner missed three games. As Arizona opens as a No. 1 seed in the NIT on Wednesday vs. Bucknell, the Wildcats will continue with a combination of Jordin Mayes and Nick Johnson at the point.
“Josiah is done for the season, it doesn’t matter if we play one game or whatever it would take from this point on,” Miller said.
“I won’t elaborate beyond that just because when our season ends we will be able to take the next step and get on the same page with Josiah moving forward. That shouldn’t be interpreted as he will never play at Arizona again, but I know he won’t play this season again.”
This is Turner’s second suspension. He did not travel with the team to Florida on Dec. 7, and Miller also held him out during the third game of the season to send something of an attitude adjustment message.
Miller wouldn’t comment on the chances of Turner — rated the 10th-best recruit in the country last season by Rivals.com — being with Arizona next season.
“I’m not telling any player on our team that he doesn’t have the option to come back, but it’s more about the path Josiah wants to go from this point forward that will determine whether he’s at Arizona or whether he would choose to have a new beginning,” Miller said.
Turner, who started 17 games, averaged 6.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists. He was playing better later in the conference season, but Turner didn’t have the impact many thought he could have, based on his recruiting rankings. Turner made only 7 of 31 3-point shots.
“Obviously, I would have loved to have a start-to-finish season with no off-the-court incidents or suspensions. They never help,” Miller said.
Miller said he will meet with Turner after UA’s run in the NIT to discuss the player’s future with the program. There are certain things Turner would have to do to get back in his good graces, Miller said.
“He has to make the complete choice himself, that he wants to be here under the ways that we run the program, trying to do things in the classroom, on the court, off the court, a certain way,” Miller said.
“I’m not expecting him to be more perfect than any of the other 12 players on the team, but to just be like everyone else and follow the rules that we set forth.”