3/16 Basketball Notebook

Sean Miller met with the media on Sunday night to discuss numerous topics. Read on for his thoughts on Brandon Ashley's recent play, Archie Miller, and more.

  • Brandon Ashley has been playing the best basketball of his career as of late and much of that has to do with his consistency.

    "Players mature and sometimes turn the corner at different points in their career," Sean Miller said. "It’s not like Brandon hasn’t played excellent basketball in his two and a half years with us. He’s had great moments.

    "I think what he has done recently is he’s taken those great moments and made them more of a consistent path so that from game to game, it is more of the same now than maybe ever before.

    "I do think that is a testament to his patience, work ethic, fact he missed a great deal of time. You don’t just miss six months and all of a sudden snap your fingers and regain the form you once had. He has worked through it. I think he is 100 percent over his injury both mentally and physically."

  • Dayton will be playing in the First Four and when asked about his brother's job as a coach this season, Sean was complimentary.

    "Archie has done an incredible job with his team," he said. "They don't have a lot of height, not a lot of depth. For them to be in the NCAA Tournament in back to back years is quite an accomplishment.

    "I was actually surprised that they were in that First Four based on how many teams they played out of conference and how consistent they’ve been. The fact we are both in the tournament probably says a lot about the two places we coach at."

  • The gap between the top teams and so called mid-majors has lessened and Miller believes there is a specific reason for that.

    "It started maybe ten years ago and every year closer to today, you have younger players that never become old and they are your best," Miller said. "Aaron Gordon is a great example.

    "If Aaron Gordon was on our team this year, he would be one heck of a player in this year’s NCAA Tournament, yet he would only be a sophomore. If you have guys that are in their third or fourth years and they are all conference players, it is quite an advantage."

  • Stanley Johnson entered Arizona as one of the most highly regarded freshmen in the country, which also means that there are plenty of high expectations.

    "I think the hardest part for some of us right now in college coaching is dealing with the elite young player in our program," Miller said. "They're not necessarily judged on who they really are age wise, experience wise. They’re almost judged as if they’re Sean Elliott in his last year at Arizona, because that is in fact who they now are really represented by in our game.

    "With that, you have to remind yourself sometimes that Stanley Johnson is 19 years old and at that age we all grow a lot, learn a lot, mature. I am the most proud of anything we’ve done as a team, as a coaching staff, just watching his evolvement in terms of buying into what we do. Off the court, on the court, in practice and games, just being a better teammate, working harder than he has even."

  • When discussing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's strengths, Miller made the comparison to a player he once competed against.

    "Rondae came to us with a great toughness and burning competitive fire," he said. "Just look at him physically. He always reminded me when he recruited him of Stacey Augmon.

    "I bring him up because that would have been the time I was playing and you always looked at him as an amazing defender because how versatile and long he is. Rondae fits that and how he plays defense and the fact he is so versatile."

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