Sean Miller Pac-12 Media Day Notebook

Sean Miller attended Thursday's Pac-12 Media Day and had plenty to say. Read on for his thoughts on the conference, Arizona's ranking, and more.

  • When asked about how coaches treat one and done players, Arizona head coach Sean Miller said that there is no difference in how his program is run with them involved.

    "We like to say the standards in our program are the standards," Miller said. "Whether you're a senior or freshman, whether you start or you're a non scholarship player, we have the same expectations for everybody. And when that's the case, that takes care of itself."

  • Miller was also quick to point out how well Aaron Gordon and the rest of the freshmen class have adjusted to college ball.

    "He's (Gordon) a very easy guy to deal with because his greatest strength isn't his ability as a basketball player," Miller said. "To me his greatest gift that he's given his teammates and us is that he's an incredibly hard worker. He's extremely focused. He's somebody that is tireless in his own approach to be great.

    "But, yet, at the same time, because of how he plays the game and how he conducts himself, he's a fun guy to have as a teammate. He's a fun guy to have as part of your program. He makes that easy. And we're fortunate because we also have two other freshmen, Elliott Pitts and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and both of those guys, they come from winning backgrounds as well.

    "I think that part of why I say what I said earlier, that we have a team that's committed to the process and each other, sometimes it stems from those new players. Are they willing to listen to Nick? Are they willing to embrace all of the things that we think are important in our program? The answer to that has been a resounding yes. And I think the character of those three freshmen has a lot to do with where we are right now."

  • One of the main themes of the day is that nearly each coach in the Pac-12 believes that this is the best the conference has been in years.

    "Well, this is my fifth season as the coach at Arizona, and I think that I can make this statement very clear, that I believe that it's the deepest conference that I have coached in," Miller said. "One of the things that sometimes is often overlooked in a conference is not who is at the top, but who is at the bottom or the bottom half of the league when it's all said and done.

    "To me, we have never had more depth than we have this year as a conference. I think that some of the teams that have been at the bottom are much, much improved. As a matter of fact, they might not even be near the top."

  • Arizona was voted as the top team in the conference, but Miller is hesitant to agree.

    "I'll also tell you that we're not experienced enough to be head and shoulders above the field," he said. "We have a lot of parts, and I think that if we have some health on our side and some good fortune, we might be able to get there and be a special team down the road.

    "But if you come to watch us practice right now, one of the things that you feel is that we have a lot of new faces, a lot of newcomers. And we lost a tremendous amount of talent, but what we really lost is players that have been in big games and been through the long college seasons before: Solomon Hill, Mark Lyons, Kevin Parrom."

  • One of Miller's concerns is how the schedule shakes out and he will look to the veterans to help in the early part of the year.

    "It's obvious to me just in how we practice that we have a long way to go," he said. "I'm very concerned about the early part of our schedule. And it's an important part for us that we improve each week, because where we are right now isn't anywhere close to being what I would call the head and shoulders or even the best team in the Pac 12.

    "I also think there's seven or eight teams that could finish as high as maybe first or second. There's not a big difference between a lot of teams, and I don't believe there's a big difference between our team and six or seven others."


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