UA looks to keep momentum against NMSU

Arizona will host New Mexico State on Wednesday night. Read on to see what Sean Miller says about Arizona's first game at number one this season, the challenges the Aggies present, and more.

Arizona will have its first game since being named the top team in the country, as it takes on New Mexico State Wednesday night at McKale.

Although the Wildcats will be favored, Arizona head coach Sean Miller believes that the Aggies have plenty of talent.

"You can make the argument that if you just look at their numbers, they are a better team right now than UNLV," Miller said. "I watched them play Gonzaga, I watched them play New Mexico, they are right there in both games and there was just a moment in both games where it favored the other team.

"From a talent perspective, being able to score, having an athletic type of team, they have that. I am sure they will come in here ready to go on Wednesday and we really have to be ready."

New Mexico State boasts a lineup with two centers in 7-foot-5 Sim Bhullar and 6-foot-10 Tshilidzi Nephawe and Miller is aware of the challenges that presents.

"The scary part for them is that they have a couple front court players," he said. "Sim Bhullar, their 7-foot-5 guy, is going to get all of the attention because of his size, but they have two other front court players that are really physical and big in their own right.

"He will be the biggest player that has come into the McKale Center in a long, long time, maybe in its history. The thing about him as a front court player is that he has really good hands, is a good passer, he has a skill level to him that is scary. We have to make sure we are prepared for a guy that big."

Moving away from the actual skill of the Aggies, Arizona now embraces the fact that teams will come out with extra motivation because the Wildcats are ranked number one.

"In terms of being number one, again, no one has to remind us that everybody loves to beat the team that is ranked number one," Miller said "I would also tell you that we were ranked number two last week.

"It isn't as if anyone looks at that ranking and says it's not that big of a deal. We have been ranked high since the onset of this season, so I feel like we have kind of been in that mode so to speak."

One aspect of this game that Arizona fans will have an eye on is whether or not Miller chooses to extend the playing rotation, as he only went with six players against UNLV.

"We want to play our bench," he said. "Part of our team's development this month is to continue to develop our depth and bench. Gabe didn't play as much in the last game. That's not good for us or Gabe. We look for him to return to form and have a similar role moving forward as he's had throughout the entire season.

"He did not play as well in that game and the way it started to play favored Rondae, so that's what we did. We went with sixth strong rather than seven or eight. We have to continue to develop those guys and on their end they have to continue to be ready."


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