Sean Miller is not one for excuses, but even he can’t ignore the fact that the Wildcats have struggled with injuries more than any other time in his tenure at Arizona.
“We’re almost at 40 practices,” Miller said. “Going into early October, we’ve had seven sprained ankles. In three or four years I don’t think we’ve had seven.
“Kadeem Allen separated his shoulder very early on and missed two weeks. Elliott Pitts we thought tore his MCL, but didn’t. He sprained it and missed six days. Ryan Anderson has not practiced in two weeks.”
The biggest obstacle the injuries have created isn’t necessarily in games.
“What ends up happening is that it’s not just the games, but part of what you want to do is continue to get better, improve, develop, and we have had very few practices where we have had ten scholarships going,” Miller said.
Once Arizona is healthy, Miller expects the Wildcats to be significantly better.
“Eventually that is going to come back around and when it does, I think you are going to see a significant jump in our level of play and knowing our team and positioning this year’s team to being the best it can be,” he said.
Still, Miller knows that opponents won’t feel sorry for Arizona.
“It has been a unique challenge, but that’s sports and for us, nobody really cares,” he said. “It’s about us getting better and finding a way.
“To judge our level of play, even in California, we don’t execute in certain situations, you look at our turnovers and shooting, it is a function of a lot of things, but it really starts with the daily consistency.”