Miller views UCLA as among the best

Sean Miller feels UCLA is among the best teams in the country. Read on to see why, how Arizona needs to be careful of, and more.

If you listened to Sean Miller at his weekly press conference on Monday, it would be difficult for you not to think that he believes UCLA could be the toughest game of the season.

"We're very excited about our upcoming trip to LA and our first Pac-12 road trip knowing that both games are going to be difficult," Miller said. "The trip historically has been difficult so I think for us we are looking at it as a great challenge."

Miller did not mince words when discussing UCLA and believes that the Bruins will be one of the best opponents all season.

"We view them as one of the best teams in the country, certainly one of the best teams in our conference," he said. "Very, very good coach. An excellent team filled with individual talent, really playing well, especially offensively. I think it will potentially be our most difficult challenge of the season when it comes to stopping the other team from scoring.

"They are very efficient right now. They have a number of players that can do different things. It seems like the roles that each of their players have right now is a good fit."

UCLA is led by Kyle Anderson, who Miller feels is a player that is likely receiving less attention than he should.

"There is a lot being made of the elite young players in this country, especially the freshmen, but I guess because Kyle Anderson is a sophomore, maybe the focus isn't on him quite as much," Miller said. "First of all, the alarming stat that stands out is that he is 12-24 from three. A year ago that wasn't even part of his offensive game.

"The way he impacts the game is so unique. He does play point guard for part of the game. When he is in with another point guard it is like they have two on the court yet here he is at 6-foot-8, 6-foot-9 he is a very difficult matchup." The Bruins have not played a great schedule, but Miller looks at their record and feels it is an accurate portrayal of what type of team UCLA is.

"I think their record reflects exactly who they are as a team, especially on offense," Miller said. "The difference between this year and last is Steve Alford's son Bryce does a really nice job in his role, but one of the more talented freshman in the country, Zach LaVine, has come in and really given them just more firepower and talent. When he's on the court, they are electric in transition and he is another player that can get his own shot."

With the Bruins and Wildcats playing well, it seems that the rivalry between the two is exactly where it should be.

"It's a great rivalry," Miller said. "It was a little bit awkward at the beginning because both teams weren't maybe at their best, but I think both for our conference, for the west coast, for college basketball, it is always great when both UCLA and Arizona have good teams because of the history of both programs.

"I think everybody in the country respects both programs and a game played between two really good teams."

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