Sean Miller took some time Monday to discuss what may wind up being Arizona’s biggest win of the season, a road victory at Gonzaga.
“We’re thrilled to have left Gonzaga with a victory,” Miller said. “I would almost put it in the category of finding a way to win. There were a lot of things in that game that quite frankly we need to get a lot better at.
“I think for me to be able to say that and find a way and have the resolve that we did and ride Gabe York for a period of time like we did and get to the finish line with a hard earned victory is certainly thrilling and gives us a boost of confidence at a time where we need confidence.”
Although Arizona struggled defensively in the first half, Miller wasn’t completely disappointed with the overall effort on that side of the ball.
“Gonzaga is a tremendous offensive team and they are fighting through some problems themselves,” Miller said. “Their overall play and turnovers and guard play, I am sure they are addressing that right now.
“Our defense was good in stretches. A lot of times when you are dealing with two players like Sabonis and Wiltjer, you can play well and hard, it’s just that they are very talented.
“I don’t look at Kyle Wiltjer’s points and Sabonis’ double double as a function of us not getting it done or lack of effort, I look at it as them being very good.”
When discussing the defense, Miller chose to single out two players.
“We had some stretches where I thought our defense was very good, especially for early December on the road,” he said.
“Allonzo, everybody focuses on his offense because that is what he is known for, but part of why he played more minutes is that he is in the right place more often defensively.
“For a stretch we inserted Elliott Pitts in and that is the role he has on our team. We put him on Wiltjer and I thought he did a really good job. He wasn’t the answer for a 35 minutes because of his size, but it gave us a change and it gave us a wrinkle.”