Miller not overstating importance

Sean Miller has yet to make a Final Four, but refuses to make Saturday's game bigger than it really is. Read on to see why that's the case and more.

Sean Miller has heard it all before.

He’s the best coach in the current game to not have made a Final Four.

Instead of looking down upon that, Miller chooses to embrace it.

“I don't know if I have an alternative,” Miller said. “You know, if you don't embrace it, what do you do? I think there's a lot of pressure on coaches.

“I don't know if there's anything harder, more difficult to achieve, but yet not many people ask us about winning the Pac-12 regular season championship or back-to-back years like we have. The focus is always on that last game. Sometimes in too big of a way.”

Miller will get another chance on Saturday, but he is being careful to not make the game bigger than it really is.

“I think each one of these guys will tell you that when we have our first team meeting or we start practice in October, when you think about when it's going to end, you think about it ending in the Final Four,” he said.

“You have to compete for it, and the more opportunities and chances you get, eventually it will breakthrough. And that's how I look at it. If you let it define you or you tighten up or can't lose, that's not going to work.

“So I think for us, and T.J. said it, not make things bigger than they need to. Trying to be the best we can. We all know what our identity is. Make sure that's in place tomorrow and then let the chips fall.”

The lack of appearing in a Final Four is not something that necessarily makes Miller work harder, as it has always been his goal.

“Yeah, I've been in the Elite Eight five times,” Miller said. “Once as an assistant, and four times now as a head coach, so if it ends there, it sticks with you for sure.

“But for me and for our team and really our program, because Arizona you also can't forget that it's quite an accomplishment to be at this level, and I think there has to be some gratification. There has to be a good feeling as well.

“If there isn't, I mean, you're working awfully hard for something that doesn't happen very frequently, and that is to be in the Final Four or win a National Championship.

“I keep going back to what I said, and that is all of us have a process and a way of doing things. If it's comprehensive enough and you have the peace of mind that it works, eventually you keep knocking at the door enough, it will break through.

“The determination, I don't know if I'm any more or less determined. I knew when I came to Arizona, that's what we were trying to do, and we're still trying.”


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