Miller confident in Pac-12's strength

Sean Miller has been consistent in his belief that the Pac-12 is stronger than it has been in years. Read on to see why he believes that, who he sees challenging for the title, and more.

Arizona head coach Sean Miller has been consistent in saying that this year's Pac-12 is the best conference that he has coached in. As Pac-12 play gets ready to begin, Miller re-affirmed that belief when talking about his view on the other teams in the conference.

"This is my fourth year in the Pac and I have said it before the season began and I still really believe this, that it is the best conference that I have been a part of," Miller said. "It is not just the teams at the top or even the middle, but every conference has a bottom and how bad the teams that finished last really are and how they did in the non-conference season really can have a huge impact on your conference as a whole. That was part of our problem last year as a conference."

Miller believes that the conference has grown since last year because the worst teams have improved, which adds to the overall strength.

"This year though I think we have some teams that are much, much improved from where they would have been a year ago," he said. "We're going to have teams that finish at the bottom and hopefully we're not going to be one of them, but whoever does finish at the bottom of our conference this year I think will be a much stronger team from start to finish and I think that bodes well for the respect that our conference will get and the quality from top to bottom."

Although Miller has not been able to keep a close eye on all the teams in the conference, he has a general idea of what teams might be Arizona's biggest challenge to winning the Pac-12.

"Oregon really catches my eye," Miller said. "They have played some really good basketball. It seems like they are playing great defense. Colorado based on what they have done in the conference schedule. I think everybody respects UCLA and knows they are getting better. Playing such a young team, they have maybe the most upside of any team in our conference.

"Arizona State is much improved when you look at where they were a year ago and who they are today. Same thing with Cal and Stanford. I think those teams are well coached and have a lot of returners."

Each player and coach on Arizona knows that the Wildcats are considered the favorite. Instead of shying away from that fact, Miller believes that it just comes with the territory.

"I think that any time you wear the name Arizona on your jersey, even in the last three years, you always get the opponent's shot because of our incredible tradition," Miller said. "Arizona means something in the world of college basketball. I think where we have to be responsible is making sure that we are always ready."

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