2/12 Basketball Notebook

Sean Miller recently discussed Kaleb Tarczewski's struggles, what Rondae Hollis-Jefferson means to Arizona, and more. Read on for all the latest.

  • Sean Miller is concerned that Kaleb Tarczewski has recently lost some confidence, but believes he is capable of getting it back.

    "In sports that happens once in a while," Miller said. "If you’re a great pitcher, you have moments where you don’t hit the strike zone. If you’re a great tight end or receiver, you have those games where for whatever reason you don’t catch it.

    "I think habits, a great process, and talent inevitably get that player back on track and I think Kaleb will get back on track."

  • One player Miller is seemingly never concerned about is Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and that is due in large part to his effort level.

    "Rondae is as valuable to our team as I think any member in the Pac-12 conference," Miller said. "We talk a lot about T.J. McConnell being our heart and soul and in some ways, Rondae is right there with him. I say that because of the different roles he has each game.

    "Very few players defend the other team’s front court player and point guard in the same game. Rondae is one of the elite defenders and he is also a double digit scorer.

    "When you look at Rondae being a forward or wing player, his rebounding is terrific both on defense and on offense. He plays hard every game. We all admire how hard he works at it."

  • Offensively, Hollis-Jefferson is a work in progress, but one in which Miller has confidence in.

    "His shooting will get better as he grows older," Miller said. "I don’t think that will happen here at Arizona, although he has made significant progress since he came here.

    "He’s gotten to the point where he can really take and make the 15-17 footer and we’re encouraging him to look for that shot even more. Every once in a while he will force it and try to get closer to the basket when if he just pulls up and takes it I think it is an even better shot for him and our team."

  • Dusan Ristic did not play much against Arizona State and Miller points to his performance early in the game.

    "He didn't play as well against ASU and there is a long line there five or six deep," Miller said. "He struggled defensively in his brief time in the game and broke down in some areas that were really crucial to our game plan, guarding that middle ball screen as a center.

    "You have to be able to keep that point guard in front of you. If he can get around you too in addition to the player being screened, you don’t have a lot of answers. Just kind of watching him in those brief minutes, we felt our best opportunity to win was going with the more experienced group."

  • Arizona is aware of the high expectations surrounding the program and there is a belief that these next few weeks will say a lot about the Wildcats.

    "We’re 20-3, we’re not 23-0," Miller said. "I would like to win every game. That is part of the greatness here at Arizona, that we’re expected to win every game.

    "I am very proud of what we are right now and I think it is so much more about where we go from here. If we were 23-0, it is so much about where we go from here. How we finish, how we play our best basketball at the key moment in the season.

    "We’re pointing towards that. 20-3, I think we walk around with our head held high and at the same time nobody feels good about our performance on Saturday. I think for us, you will learn a lot about our team this weekend and next weekend."

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