Miller breaks down UNLV

Arizona will face UNLV on Tuesday. Read on to see what Sean Miller says about the Rebels on both sides of the ball, their individual players, and more.

Arizona will head on the road for the second consecutive time when it takes on UNLV on Tuesday. The Rebels have been inconsistent this season and much of that has to do it their youth.

"UNLV is a very talented, but very young team," Miller said. "You can see that there are things that with a team as youthful as they are, that you work through some things in the months of November and December, but where they could potentially be in January or February or for that matter against us, they have the type of team that can really get better and improve by leaps and bounds."

Even though this UNLV team is much different than last season's, there likely won't be many fundamental differences.

"I think all of us from one year to the next, although there are some changes, you have something that carries over from one year to the next," Miller said. "They predominantly play man to man and do a good job.

"They have mixed in a 1-3-1 zone. I know a year ago they played some triangle and two against us. Having played against UTEP and prepared for the triangle and two, we’re certainly preparing for triangle and two, box and one, and a change of defenses because that is what they did last year."

When discussing the talent that UNLV has this season, it usually starts with freshman Rashad Vaughn.

"We are very impressed with a number of their players, but Rashad Vaughn’s scoring, for a freshman to be averaging 17 points per game, he can really get his own shot," Miller said.

"He is scoring 17 a game and I don’t necessarily think he has hit his stride shooting yet, but he is capable of scoring 20. Any time there is a perimeter player on the other team that can get 20, they are very dangerous."

In addition, the Rebels have a talented front court.

"Their two front court players combine to make maybe the best shot blocking tandem in the country," Miller said. "Goodluck Okonoboh and Christian Wood are both young and I think individually almost have as many shot blocks as our entire team. That shows you the talent around the basket and the length."

With so much youth, UNLV looks to point guard Cody Doolin to be the steadying force.

"I think that their point guard is kind of like a T.J. McConnell version for them," Miller said. "He does a little bit of everything. I watched the Portland game and he really put the team on his back the last four minutes and made big plays.

"I am really impressed with him. He passes the ball, he can score, he shoots the ball, runs their team, and he is the engine that makes a lot of those young guys go."

Arizona will certainly be favored on Tuesday, but Miller recognizes the need to be careful.

"You have a perimeter player who can score and a number of guys," Miller said. Especially Rashad Vaughn and those two big guys, so I think from that perspective playing a talented team, not as much as a veteran team, but a talented team that on a given night I think can beat anybody in the country, especially on their home court.

"You look at UNLV, UNLV has done a good job on defense. They have held their opponents and even the other night against Utah, Utah didn’t necessarily have a big scoring night and they are capable. You have two players that block shots like them and they do a real good job of coaching defense."


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