Markkanen taking business-like approach

Lauri Markkanen has approached his freshman season with seriousness. Read on to see what Sean Miller says about that approach and more.

Lauri Markkanen continues to impress and much of that has to do with his approach to each game.

“He’s all business," Sean Miller said. "There is no screwing around with him. It’s about him working hard every day. He loves the game and he’s here to win and become a better player. He never compromises that, ever.

“In a shoot around, in a practice or in a game, it’s all business. He is unflappable in terms of his demeanor and his effort. Without a doubt one of the best kids I’ve had the pleasure to coach.

“He came here for a clear purpose and that purpose is never compromised. Everybody knows it.”

Markkanen continues to showcase his shooting talents behind the arc, which Miller attributes much of to his size.

“He’s such a weapon against zones because he’s seven feet tall shooting the ball from long range,” he said. “Sometimes the size of the zone can affect three-point shooters but he just shoots over people because he’s so tall. He’s a really good shooter now.

“I’m not going to downplay who he is because he’s an exceptional player and great kid. He’s only going to get better from here and that’s because of his tremendous work ethic and attitude.”

Miller considers Markkanen as one of the most gifted players he has ever coached and admits that the freshman is getting mentally smarter each game.

“Teams have tried to get him into foul trouble all season but I think it’s more experience than ability,” Miller said. “It’s not that he can’t keep up or guard a variety of players because I know he can do it.

“It’s just about becoming smarter and experience is everything with that. He learned quite a bit from the Utah and Colorado games. He and I watched film on a couple of his fouls and talked about what we are trying to get him to improve on as a coaching staff.

“He’s a very willing learner. If you say two o’clock film, he’s there five minutes early and locked in. He’s going to try to learn what you’re teaching him.”

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