2/18 Basketball Notebook

Sean Miller met with the media on Monday. Read on for his thoughts on the loss to Arizona, Pac-12 scheduling, and much more.

  • When asked about the failure of the Pac-12 refs to call a technical foul at the end of the Arizona State game, Miller was quick to deflect attention to other aspects of the loss.

    "The thing about that game is that Arizona State deserves full credit for beating us," Miller said. "They played an excellent game, an excellent defensive game.

    "The game was filled with moments where each team could have won or lost and unfortunately we were on the wrong end of that.

    "In my mind when I went and shook Herb's hand the game was over. I don't want to win or lose on something that doesn't have any relevancy to the actual play."

  • Arizona's offense continues to struggle and much of Friday's disappointment revolves around turnovers.

    "We could have won the game and if we would have won the game I would have pretty much been in the same place I am now," Miller said. "Fifteen turnovers is a lot. I think most of our turnovers happened before the overtime periods.

    "Uncharacteristically T.J. had six of them and to me, he is as good of a point guard in terms of taking care of the ball as there is, but that happens."

  • In order to make up for the lack of offense, Arizona must succeed in other areas.

    "There's two ways that we make up for our offense with some of our deficiencies," Miller said. "One is that we are an outstanding offensive rebounding team, which gives us more shots. Number two is that we really play with about 10 turnovers in a 40-minutes game, which is very good.

    "Generally we make a pretty good percentage of the twos that we take, but we have had so many games this year where we didn't make free-throws, did not shoot the ball well, or sometimes didn't have a lot of attempts from three, but the combination of our really good defense and the factors I mentioned have allowed us to be 23-2, not 15-10, but 23-2."

  • One influence Miller took away from the loss to Arizona State is that he now feels he needs to extend his bench minutes.

    "I would say the one thing I learned from the ASU game is that we have to play our bench more," he said. "You don't have a crystal ball that you are going to do to double overtime, that's not the reason I felt that.

    "It's difficult to start playing players in overtime periods when they have been sitting there for 45 minutes to an hour of real time, it's not fair to ask them to come into that situation. I think early on in games, throughout the first half and throughout the entire game, playing our bench is key.

    "Once you decide not to play it, you have players playing not to make mistakes. For us to win the most games this year, I think our biggest upside lies in trusting Jordin Mayes, Elliott Pitts, and Gabe York a little bit more, throwing Matt Korcheck in there, and take some minutes away from the guys that are playing."

  • Miller believes that if he does not extend the bench, it could have major effects.

    "I think it will help them so that they don't have to take the burden of every possession, because something is going to break with what we are asking our players to do," he said.

  • In addition, Miller acknowledges it will be difficult to play at Utah and Colorado, but says that is no different than any of the other road games that the Wildcats have played.

    "It's been difficult from the very second that we traveled to San Diego State," he said. "It's no more difficult or less difficult than playing at Michigan, playing at Stanford, playing at Cal, playing at Arizona State.

    "I think to the media it is more important because you guys can now have a different storyline that it is no longer the fantasy ride of 21 games in a row.

    "It is that we can't make shots, have lost two out of four, and all of a sudden maybe they're not going to go as far."

  • Although Arizona's head coach has never gotten into too much detail, it is no secret that he is not a fan of how the Pac-12 has scheduled this season.

    "All of our trips this year in the Pac-12 are long trips," Miller said. "It makes our conference that much more difficult on all teams, not just Arizona.

    "No conference in the country has ever done what we're doing this year. I don't want to comment for obvious reasons and they won't listen to me anyway."

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