Arizona taking caution with NAU

Sean Miller is aware of the numerous upsets that have already taken place this season. Read on for his thoughts on NAU, his team's approach, and more.

Arizona may be the heavy favorite against Northern Arizona on Wednesday, but that does not mean that the Wildcats are taking it easy.

For starters, the Lumberjacks present numerous options at guard that have been relatively successful this season.

"Gabe Rogers and Dewayne Russell are their two leading scorers, their point guard and their two," Sean Miller said. "One is a freshman and one's a senior. Any time those types of players coming in averaging around 17 points per game, it gets your attention.

"We all know that if you watch these games where upsets happen, it's generally those guards on the other team that has big nights from three or the team has a big night from three. I think our guards will have two really challenging matchups with those two players.

Arizona will welcome NAU head coach Jack Murphy, who spent eight years on Lute Olson's staff as a team manager, recruiting coordinator, administrative assistant, video coordinator and director of operations.

"Jack Murphy is a part of our Arizona family having been here in a number of roles," Miller said. "I know he loves the University of Arizona and he is really connected with a lot of our former players and teams here, so we think very highly of Jack and know he is going to do a great job. He already has both in recruiting and hitting NAU with a great source of energy.

"We are excited to play his team, but we know they will play very hard, that they have a lot of his personality and that is that they have confidence, a youthfulness and energy and they will come down here wanting to play really hard."

Despite the fact that Arizona is such a heavy favorite, Miller does not believe he will have to go out of his way to motivate the team.

"We control us," Miller said. "No one has to give these guys a pep talk or a slap in the butt to know that every game we play is an important game. For us, we cherish home games. We have one of the great home courts in the country.

"That is well documented and when we play a home game we want to be at our best for our fans and utilize the Zona Zoo and McKale and energy that is in our building to make this a very difficult place for our opponent."

Not only that, but UCLA losing to Cal Poly and other upsets around the country have opened the eyes of the Wildcats.

"You only have to look around this country, one or two nights a week and you will see that there are teams pushed to the limit, there are teams that get upset, and the favorite doesn't always win in college basketball," Miller said.

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