Arizona’s offense has looked solid through the first three games of the season, but when Sean Miller was asked about it on Wednesday, he implied that there has not been a major change in style.
“Maybe the scores reflect more points per game, although it is very early,” Miller said. “We have a very similar style and very similar approach.
“One thing you recognize is that you can have a similar style, but you’re very much at the mercy of your personnel. In recent years we had great length, rebounding prowess that no matter who we played we felt very comfortable in that area.”
One reason why the offense may look better to some is because the pace of the games are different due to the fact Arizona is not as good defensively as it has been in the past few years.
“From a defensive perspective, we emerged the past two years as an elite defensive team,” Miller said. “When you are that team and are hard to score on, sometimes the game feels and looks different.
“On offense, in both of those same years, we grew and developed, particularly last year at the end I think our tempo and efficiency was as good as it has been.
“We have maybe more of an upside this year offensively because we have maybe a more skilled offensive team, but it remains to be seen where we will go defensively. I think we have a similar philosophy, but the ingredients on our team will determine how it goes.”
In addition, there is a belief that the changes in rules with the hand checking and smaller shot clock has helped the offensive progress of college basketball.
“It seems that way just looking at the early scores,” Miller said. “The five seconds isn't necessarily a night and day change, but an example would be what we dealt with the other night when a team deliberately tried to get to the end of the shot clock.
“It wasn’t nearly as deliberate or as long considering so many possessions going to the end Missing those five seconds, you start to feel it getting to the middle and end of the second half.
“I think all the intent of the rules changes are right. It makes the game cleaner, promotes more skill. Early on there are some times with more fouls being called, but it is up to us as coaches and players to adjust.”
Arizona has already seen some press this season and Miller does not seem too worries about it going forward.
“A lot of teams looked at that 30 second shot clock and try to use that to their advantage, so they are pressing not necessarily to turn you over, but to slow you down,” Miller said.
“As they slow you down their hope I believe is to get you into the last ten seconds of the clock more often.
“I don’t necessarily agree with that. As you see that type of pressure you can attack it, sometimes get fouls and create shots yourself that otherwise you can’t get if they choose not to do it.”