Miller believes Texas Southern is dangerous

Sean Miller believes Texas Southern can be a dangerous opponent. Read on to see why that is and more.

Some believe that Arizona deserves a one seed, but Sean Miller has no issues with where the Wildcats are seeded.

“The four one seeds are very deserving,” Miller said. “You could make the argument that maybe six or seven teams could have been there.

“I think the ones that were given the one seed clearly deserved it. Their quality of play clearly speaks for itself and I think the two seeds’ quality of play speaks for itself as well and I am happy to be one of them.”

Arizona knew it was going to be highly seeded, but that does not take away from the overall enthusiasm.

“We’re excited to be a two seed and be in the footprint of the Pac-12 in Portland,” Miller said. “We know that is a fantastic arena. Coach Stoudamire knows that arena very well and we’re excited about moving to the next chapter, one in which you seemingly talk about forever and the reality of it is that you’re here and it’s upon you very fast.

“I think for us, we’re very excited to be a part of the tournament. It’s not easy. You look at some of the teams that aren't a part of this year’s NCAA Tournament, including the champion from a year ago, it just shows how much college basketball has changed.

“You lose so many young players, there’s so much parity across the board that from one year to the next it can be amazing swings and I think the last two years here I certainly don’t want to take for granted, because we have kind of a very similar run up until now as last year.”

The Wildcats are the biggest favorite in the entire first round of competition, but there will be no overlooking their opponent.

“The first round for everyone is difficult, more so now than ever before,” Miller said. “You have to be ready. This isn’t a best of three format. It’s who’s the best in that 40 minutes and there’s a lot of factors that weigh into it.

“Early foul trouble, sometimes guys knowing that it is finally here, aren’t themselves and teams aren’t themselves. We don’t want to be one of those teams. I think for us, our quest is to go to Portland and try to play great basketball on Thursday.”

Texas Southern has the most difficult out of conference schedule in the country and Miller has taken notice.

“I just happened around Christmas to be looking for something to do and I happened to find their Michigan State game,” he said. “I watched that game from start to finish, one in which they won. If you win at Michigan State, you don’t have to say anything more. You’re a dangerous team, a very well-coached team.

“Mike Davis has done an unbelievable job coaching at the places he’s been, including being in a national championship himself at Indiana. They have also beaten Kansas State at Kansas State. We played Kansas State. We recognize who they are and we have to be ready on Thursday for a team that is very capable of advancing.”

In addition, the Tigers have a player that Arizona coaches are familiar with.

“I think their guards are very, very aggressive,” Miller said. “We’re familiar with Chris Thomas. At one point we were recruiting him and he got off track, but it seems like he is really back on track right now. He was a top 100 player, maybe even higher at one point coming out of high school.

“He is one of the two guards with Gibbs being the other. If you look at their free-throw attempts, it is amazing. They get to the foul line as well as any two guards we’ve played against all season long.”

When comparing Texas Southern to a team in the Pac-12, the obvious choice is Oregon.

“The makeup of their team is similar to Oregon in that they play predominantly guards and wings that can really spread you out,” Miller said.

“You look at the Kansas State and Michigan State game as two great examples of them being at their best and I think you can see their guards can really play.”


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