April 17 Basketball Notebook

Sean Miller met with the media this week to discuss numerous topics. Read on for a notebook discussing this thoughts on the NBA Draft schedule, recruiting, and more.

  • It is inevitable that Arizona is going to have consistent talk about having players leave early, but Sean Miller says that the possibility did not affect team chemistry.

    "It makes April a difficult month because there's a lot going on, but it is a problem that any coach would love to have," Miller said. "It means that we have a great group of players and kids and a talented team.

    "Certainly this past year was a reflection of all those qualities. This year I think I was redundant continuing to say this that the role of our coaching staff with this year's team was to coach basketball.

    "There were very few, if any, fires we had to put out. From a team chemistry perspective, no team is perfect, but it was a fun ride in many ways because everybody was all in for the same cause."

  • There are two days that are recognized as major ones with the NBA Draft, but Miller downplays April 15 as not being important.

    "The April 15 is a date that kind of looms," Miller said. "It is the most meaningless date in college sports. It means nothing. I'm not so sure why it even stands.

    "If anybody would act as if it was an important date, they are misinformed. April 27 is the date that matters and all of our players would have to go and declare prior to that date.

    "We ignore the April 15. The counsel I give is to act as if it is meaningless. It's nothing. It's almost like a ploy to get someone to make a quicker decision than they need and they really need to really make April 27 the only date that matters."

  • Exposure is certainly not a problem at Arizona, as the Wildcats were visited by numerous NBA scouts throughout the season.

    "I think the most meaningful information is coming from the NBA, from player personnel," Miller said. "All 30 times watched us practice on more than three occasions, which is amazing.

    "If you think about all 30 teams were all represented at least three times at our practices, you factor in the 38 games that we played, I think it is fairly accurate to say that they know our team, they know the individual players."

  • The coaching staff has a pretty good idea of when a player could leave early, but it may pay more attention to the way the decision would come.

    "One of the things you are always on the lookout for is if a guy is ultra-talented and has the ability in your opinion to leave early," Miller said.

    "You can't always predetermine it, but I think the one thing you can predetermine is do they win where they're at, do they covet winning, does their family care about winning, because if that's in place, usually they will make a good decision as opposed to a decision that maybe is rash."

  • If it was up to Miller, he would have a change in the rules for entering the draft.

    "I think if we could ever get to a point where players that you recruit have to be in school for two years, I think three is unrealistic, it would help everybody," he said. "It would help the NBA, it would help these guys, make great decisions and be more developed and ready when they leave.

    "I think it would slow down a lot of different things from the transfers to each year welcoming five or more players into the program. The rules are the rules right now. You can complain about them if you want, but that's not going to work. I think you have to embrace what we have to do to be successful."

  • There may be disappointment with the way the season ended, but there are also positives to take away as well.

    "I look at it with a lot of pride," Miller said. "We had an incredible team. We won 21 games in a row with Brandon. There was no doubt in my mind that without him we would lose some things that may cost us the ability to go as far as we could.

    "We ran into that a little bit in not only the Wisconsin game, but the game before that against San Diego State, length, depth, size. We lost that with not having that, but to rally like we did without him and to win 33 games with the schedule we played, I believe that the regular season conference championship is one of the hardest things to do in college basketball."


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