No shame in losing first game

Arizona lost its first game on Saturday, but there's no shame in it. Read on to see Miller's reaction to the loss and more.

Arizona has had its fair share of close game this season and come out on the winning end. On Saturday, however, the Wildcats just could not do enough to get over the hump.

"The point that I made to the team is, we probably have been in ten games that at the four minute marker of the game is representative of how tonight was ten times," Sean Miller said. "All players, whether it be great defensive play, big shot, great togetherness, hard play, we always found a way to be on the positive end of it.

"Tonight (Saturday) in that same moment we didn't make the shots and we didn't get the big stop and I credit Cal, who did a really good job and played a great game and we lost a hard fought game."

Miller had no problems finding the positives in the loss, as Arizona still did some things well.

"You know if you look at it, the ten turnovers weren't great, uncharacteristically Nick had five of the 10," Miller said. "We rebounded them forty-one to thirty-two, including 14 second shots, Aaron had six of them himself.

"From a defensive prospective, even though Cal shot forty-four percent, if you look at our defensive game we had enough defense to win. We just shot thirty-two percent for the game, including two for eleven."

Nick Johnson played the worst game of the season and one of the worst of his career, but Miller made sure he did not get too down on himself.

"I told Nick, you can't be great forty times in a row and tonight was not his night, one for fourteen, 0 for 5, five turnovers, but as you know, a big part of us being twenty-one and one is how well he has played," Miller said.

"Tonight wasn't his night, we needed a couple of guys to maybe step up, but our offense struggled and we lost a hard fought battle to Cal.

One aspect of the game that can't be looked at as a positive in any way is the injury to Brandon Ashley.

"The bigger story for us is that we might have lost Brandon Ashley for the year, which is obviously very disappointing," Miller said. "That is the other thing that I don't feel so good about tonight, is that he got hurt in the game and there are a lot of things we're going to do differently knowing that he is not a part of the equation.

"Obviously if you get hurt in the game you don't necessarily have time to adapt and reinvent, you have to do it on the fly. I thought our guys went in there and played with great effort and we came up short. We are 21 and 1, we are 8 and 1 at the break of the Pac-12. Losing Brandon is certainly a blow to us, but we have to come back together and finish strong."


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