Defense continues to be work in progress

Arizona has had some inconsistency on defense this season. Read on to see why Sean Miller thinks that is, how it has played recently, and more.

Arizona's defensive effort against UCLA left a lot to be desired, but the Wildcats were able to come out against USC and play arguably its best defense of the season.

"It's not easy to put a loss behind you, especially a game like we played against UCLA," Arizona head coach Sean Miller said. "You disappoint so many people in the crowd. But part of the journey in the long season in being a good team is that you have to handle those situations right. We lost and had to move on to the next game and get better to be at our best.

"I give our team a lot of credit. It's not as easy as everyone thinks to go from Thursday night to Saturday at 5:00 p.m. We played very hard. We are developing and continuing to get better. Our defense was the story tonight (Saturday)."

Miller believes that the team's attitude goes a long way in determining whether or not Arizona is going to be successful on defense. On Saturday, the team was acting as a unit, but against UCLA there were numerous times in which it broke down on both offense and defense.

"It's really hard to be a selfish team and to not be together and be really good, especially on defense," Miller said. "Generally, that is what breaks first.

"If you're not together and moving down the path, it's not good. There's a lot of unselfishness and going together in being a team. You almost have no choice but to feed it to the offensive end."

One of the biggest issues with the consistency of the defense has been the play of the freshmen. Often times, it is difficult to predict what freshmen will do, which also leads to inconsistency on that side of the court.

"It's a process," Miller said. "Everybody wants their young players to come in and all of a sudden dominate, but it takes time. If you really pay close attention to our team, we have a number of our young freshmen that continue to grow and get better on defense.

"As they get better on defense, the offense will come, but our team continues to develop. Brandon Ashley did a great job and had a great defensive effort at ASU. He's playing harder and has learned to be effective on that end. As that continues, it seems to weave some things for him on the offense."

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