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Dusan Ristic has received plenty of praise for his off-season improvement and the last few weeks of practice have only confirmed that.
“Dusan has won the gold jersey back to back consecutive weeks, but the separation wasn’t nearly as big,” Sean Miller said. “We had a couple of other guys that were close to winning it.”
Ristic continues to progress offensively and it’s already been the strongest part of his game.
“Offensively he has always been ahead of the curve and his improvement on offense speaks for itself,” Miller said. “You watch him score in the post, obviously he has everything you want, especially great hands.”
Defensively, although there has been improvement, Ristic remains a work in progress.
“He’s getting better,” Miller said. “I think you take his improvement with a real understanding of where he came from.
“I would say Dusan came to Arizona and was really up against it on that side of the basketball. Defensively, some of it is learning and some of it is that he is seven-foot and not all seven footers are agile.
“He’s learned how to be more physical. I think he has learned and continues to learn how to be in the right place at the right time.”
One of the main reasons for Ristic’s defensive improvement has been his off the court regime.
“This summer he boxed,” Miller said. “That type of agility is really good for a big guy, especially with post defense and some of the things that maybe he was lacking.
“I wouldn’t have a complete this is where he is at, but it is fair to say he is at a better place now than he was a year ago.”