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Last week was the worst stretch Lauri Markkanen’s season and Sean Miller believes the coaching staff has to put him in better situations.
“I don’t think Lauri got enough good looks in either game,” Miller said. “I credit both Oregon State and Oregon of doing a really good job of knowing where he’s at and challenging his shots and making it more difficult to get him the ball in a scoring area.
“We have to do a better job as a team and coaching staff of being able to free him up as best we can and get him good looks.”
In addition, Arizona needs to be careful to not force Markkanen into simply being a jump shooter.
“I think the other part with Lauri is, especially against zones, being able to use his size a little bit more around the basket where he can get more second shots and two-point shots,” Miller said.
“Being able to get him the ball requires team work and strategically as coaches we have to do a better job of giving him the ball around the basket more.
“I believe if we can correct it, we will be a much better team and it will allow Lauri to score easier. No matter how great of a shooter you are, if you’re only relying on perimeter jump shots, there are going to be those games where they can take that away from you.”
The offense continues to work on integrating Allonzo Trier into the lineup, but Miller is not one of the few concerned.
“The addition of Allonzo will only help Lauri because it will take pressure off,” he said. “You have to worry about another scorer, somebody that can drive the ball and get to the foul line.
“There’s more balance and because of that, it doesn’t allow the defense to focus on just him. Any time you can add another player out there who is versatile and can score and have a big night only helps Lauri.”