Miller emphasizing readiness

Sean Miller met with the media on Tuesday. Read on for his thoughts on tournament projections, an update on Jordin Mayes, and more.

Sean Miller met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the huge road trip that the Wildcats are entering. While tournament projections are in full swing, Miller says that he does not put much focus on it, if any at all.

"I just really emphasize what we have been emphasizing and that is that it is so important for us to control what we can," Miller said. "That is to be ready and improve and make sure, for example you look at our Utah game, they were 9-18 from the three-point line and that is not something they have done very well this year as a team and before that game we were I believe the number one team in the country in defending the three-point shot.

"It is just such a reminder that you have to bring your strengths to every game because if you don't, you can kind of see how that game played out and how close we were to losing what would have been a pivotal home game. That type of talk doesn't help you prepare or be a good team. If anything, it makes everything life or death and you are going to die a few times."

As Arizona heads to Washington State for Thursday's game, it will be doing so with the likelihood that Jordin Mayes will not play.

"He is progressing but I am not optimistic that he will play this weekend," Miller said. "There is an outside chance that he could, but we are going to wait until he is pain free so we don't put him at further risk. He has made progress, he is in a much better place right now than he once was, but I don't know if that is going to allow him to be with us this weekend. Maybe he can play a little bit on Saturday, not on Thursday."

There are more concerns than Mayes, however, as Miller will have to come up with a plan to stop Brock Motum, who has been one of the best players in the conference.

"It is not going to be a one-on-one matchup, we have to do it as a team," he said. "At the end of our game against Washington State, if he scores 20 points, it is going to be hard for us to win. They are a better team at home than they are on the road and he is a load, he is a handful.

"We certainly want to make the game hard for him and if he scores 20 or 15 or 14 we want to make sure it is not because of us but because he earned every basket that he got."

In order to contain Motum, Angelo Chol will likely be called upon. Miller says that Chol continues to improve at a high rate.

"If he is not our team's hardest worker, he is right there," Miller said. "It is very obvious to everybody how much talent he has. He is new to the game, so sometimes he has further to go, but he makes those progressions by leaps and bounds. He is really impacting our team and hopefully he can for the rest of the way."

One difficulty that has some up with Chol's improvement is the fact that it has been difficult to get him on the court with the success of Solomon Hill and Jesse Perry.

"We're constantly looking right now for ways to get him on the court more," Miller said. "There is a fine line in doing it because Solomon Hill and Jesse Perry are really rock solid on their roles. They are one and two in the conference in offensive rebounding. Solomon's play over the last month, he is an all-conference player right now and Jesse is many ways is our team's heart and soul.

"To play Angelo more and you want to keep those guys on the court, both of their roles would change to play him with them, which we are starting to look at. If you don't do that, he gets the minutes where either Solomon or Jesse is not in the game."

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