1/27 Basketball Notebook

Sean Miller met with the media on Monday. Read on to see numerous notes from his press conference.

  • Aaron Gordon has already made a name for himself as an elite defender and Sean Miller says he saw it coming, especially with the players around him.

    "I really felt that way," Miller said. "When we recruited Aaron we talked to him a lot and he obviously had a great interest in playing with two other bigs and playing the small forward position.

    "I think a lot of people kind of rolled their eyes at that, almost as if you could talk about it, but it's not going to be reality. Our best lineup this year is when Aaron is in with two bigs and many times when Rondae is in as well at that position.

    "The reason is that he gives us an elite defender guarding a small forward, he gives us an elite rebounder with two other rebounders and it makes our size I think that much more damaging to our opponent."

  • Obviously there are numerous challenges in going on the road, but playing solid defense may be the most difficult one.

    "The crowd is completely against you, so not only do you have the crowd against you, but you have lost the crowd that is for you, in our case a great crowd," Miller said.

    "You only have each other. You really do rely a lot on your togetherness, the cooperation. Playing defense isn't nearly as easy because you have everything kind of working against you. You have to, in my mind, play even harder on the road defensively. Many times that is why you win."

  • When asked what win stood out to him, Miller was quick to point to earlier in the season.

    "San Diego State was a really hard game," he said. "That was early in November, they are 18-1 right now. Not a lot of people, because it happened so early, recognized how good they were. We did kind of sense it when we played them that they were going to be a really tough team. That's one we're really proud of."

  • Arizona has had success on the Bay Area trip in the past, but it is likely meaningless this week.

    "Each year is new, just like in Los Angeles," Miller said. "We had struggled in the past, this year we really put it together in large part because we have a new team. The dynamics of this trip, I think you have two really hungry teams.

    "Cal is right there competing for the Pac-12 championship and Stanford, which is no question is right in the mix for a NCAA tournament bid. The meaning of these games for them is immense and so it is for us with what we are trying to accomplish."

  • Stanford is one of the older teams in the conference and Arizona will have to deal with its veteran leadership.

    "Really experienced," Miller said. "You forget how much experience guys like Josh Huestis and Dwight Powell have. These are guys that have been through multiple seasons in the Pac-12 and they have really good size.

    "They don't play as many players as they have in the past, but seem to have really good chemistry about them. We're playing against a veteran team, a talented team, a team that has as much experience as anybody and I think this is a big opportunity for both teams here on Wednesday."

  • Free-throws continues to be a concern for the Wildcats, but it is something that they continue to work on.

    "I think we are a work in progress," Miller said. "Sometimes the gift of your team is kind of a curse in another area. So a lot of the things that our team does well, offensive rebounding, physical, defensive team, maybe that works against us a little bit when those players go to the foul line.

    "Our players are working at it. We have had some really good games from the line on the road and it is a matter of settling in."

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