Not one to mince words, Sean Miller spoke about Arizona’s performance on Thursday with brutal honesty.
“We could not defend their perimeter guys,” Miller said. “Our team is terrible on defense. This is the worst defensive team I have coached at Arizona since my first year.
“We have too many people on our team right now that pick and choose how they are supposed to do things.”
Breaking down Bryce Alford’s game winning shot, Miller was quick to say that is not how Arizona intended to defend the UCLA guard.
“We have one way we do things on defense and it is not like kind of one way or two ways and the last play of the game is a reflection of that,” Miller said.
“We didn't switch Kaleb Tarczewski on Bryce Alford. You literally have to be out of your mind to do that, but we did our own thing on the last play and that’s probably the easiest shot he has ever taken at Pauley Pavilion on a game winner.”
Many will point to the last shot of the game, but Miller believes Arizona lost before that.
“That’s reflective of the 50 or 70 plays tonight we were on defense we had a total breakdown,” he said. “Getting back in transition, defending the ball one on one, we tried to post trap Tony Parker and didn't do that very well.
“Unless our defense improves, we are going to win a few and then lose a few. If we’re going to try to have an outstanding season and do a great job in this conference, we lost today and scored 84 points.
“If you’re at UCLA and you score 84 points and lose, I think you have to take a hard look and say how good is your defense and right now it is a bad defense.”
There were numerous instances in which Miller said that players aren’t doing what he wants defensively and it appears he will begin to hold them more accountable.
“I would give an analogy that you're driving a car and see a stop sign and you say that is meant for everybody else,” Miller said. “I’m not stopping. I am going through it. We had too many breakdowns.
“This is the worst defensive team as we’re playing right now. Maybe my first year at Arizona. Maybe my first year at Xavier. We’re ready to turn that around right now.
“We have to get some guys in there that are doing what Arizona is supposed to do, not what they feel like doing.”