Sean Miller does not make any secrets about the fact that he believes team chemistry can make or break a team, so it is no surprise that he chooses to mention it when discussing the expectations of this season's team.
"Last year one of the strengths was our team chemistry and we had a group of high character players that were on a mission to have a successful season as a team," Miller said.
"Obviously every one of them a year ago wanted to do well individually, but everybody understood that first and foremost we were going to do it as a team and with that team success, the individual accolades would follow, which is exactly what happened."
Miller is not close to naming the starting lineup, but realizes that one of the more difficult aspects of his job is figuring out how many minutes each player will get.
"Every year you start over again," he said. "I’m not concerned with our team chemistry, but you guys do the math. Well you have five new players, you have x number of players returning, how is this all going to work?
"Really what you’re asking is who’s going to be unhappy, who is not going to play as much as maybe he think he is going to play, etc. We have to work all of that out."
As important as practice is, Miller believes that Arizona is currently in the stage of finding out the overall personality and chemistry of his team.
"A lot of times you don't truly know what kind of chemistry you have until you start playing games, but you learn a lot about the work ethic of the team, the togetherness of the team through the summer months and early fall," Miller said. "That’s right where we are at now.
"Priority number one at Arizona this year is to have a team that is clearly about playing for the University of Arizona, thats comprehensively all in, trying their best to do what we as a staff and as a group have decided is in our best interest of winning. Not a debut to be an all-conference player or show the world how much they have improved their jump shot over the summer.
"This is about us and Arizona, so team chemistry, togetherness, attitude, a collective will to do things the right way, that’s way more important right now to us than the plays we are going to run or schemes we will have on defense."
One of the main aspects of team chemistry is how players accept their roles and that is something that Miller is anxious to see.
"One of the things you learn once you start up for real is who can really answer the bell every day, who’s moody, who’s that guy that is good for about five days in a row and then day six walks in like he really doesn’t want to be there," Miller said.
"That’s really important to know because that same guy late in February when we’re playing a pivotal game, he will be moody on game day and your team won’t play as well, nor will he. Some of those things you don’t really know until you start going through the real season, practicing every single day, long stretches and playing in games.
"I am anxious to see the team camaraderie, the team chemistry, the team attitude, and who can hang in there and every single day bring it where we can really count on them regardless of the circumstances."