Miller preparing team for Gonzaga

Sean Miller addressed the media on Thursday. Read on for his thoughts on the team this week, Gonzaga, Angelo Chol, and more.

Arizona will be playing Gonzaga on Saturday, as it has had a well-deserved break before what many would call the biggest game of the season to date.

"We have had a real good week," Sean Miller said. "It sometimes can be a hard time for a team or an individual kid because of the stress of finals and everything weighs on them.

"Because there is actually no classes, especially if a number of your players have finals and papers due earlier in the week, you can have the best of both where they can do a good job of focusing on their academics and as a team this is the first time we have gone this long of a duration without a game in some time, so it is an opportunity for us to improve."

While finals are a challenge in a different way, Gonzaga will be a major challenge on the court, due in large part to center Robert Sacre.

"Sacre to me is maybe the best player that we have played so far in 11 games," Miller said. "It is amazing how big he is, yet he just has great hands and he is just a true low post player, good passer from the high post.

"That is where it starts for Gonzaga. You can't let him foul your team out and have a huge night from the free throw line, which Gonzaga as a team does just about better than any team in the country right now."

One player that Miller will likely use in order to contain Sacre is Angelo Chol, who has played well as of late.

"We are moving Angelo's role and expanding it, not just because we are playing Gonzaga, but I think his recent play and his practices he is settling in, he is more comfortable and he continues to work very hard in the weight room," Miller said.

"We are going to be at our best when Angelo continues to have a bigger role and be productive in the big role. He is playing right below 15 minutes, my hope is that 15 becomes 17 and 17 eventually becomes 20. That may not sound like a huge increase but it really is and it makes our team bigger, especially if Angelo continues to rebound and block shots and produce. He is much more confident on offense right now."

One of the reasons that Chol will able to have his minutes increase is because he is doing a better job of adapting to college basketball.

"At one point I would say while he was out there he was not completely grasping everything we were doing on offense and now it is much more natural for him and a lot more fun for him to practice and play when he feels comfortable and you can see the more comfortable he feels the better player he is."

Many would consider Arizona to be the underdog on Saturday and Miller says that he definitely does not have a problem with that belief.

"To me, Gonzaga is the established program right now," he said. "The fact that they have been to 12 consecutive NCAA tournaments, lets everybody give credit where credit is due. That is difficult to do. Looking at the team they have this year with a guy like Sacre, who I wouldn't be surprised if he is a first round pick this spring, they are the established program right now."


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