Hi everyone. thanks for joining.
Frank -- Actually all four of UA's losses this season aren't "bad" losses though they were upsets. However, it's true that this team does not have a killer instinct about it to put teams away. It's human nature (especially for college players) to let down a bit against teams they know they should beat easily. I think a lot of it is mental, though some things like Utah's wacky defense can certainly disrupt them also.
Here's how Miller looks at it: There are minuses -- definitely -- with Lyons. And there are pluses. But there is still a net gain. I'm sure he is asking Lyons not to take many crazy three pointers but, no, he isn't going to bench Lyons because Lyons has confidence and makes plays in crunch time. Though Hill and Johnson have also been good in the clutch, Lyons has been arguably their best player when they need something bad. It's not perfect but it's better than the alternative (at least to Miller). If Lyons didn't show up unexpectedly last spring, UA would have had to play Johnson and Mayes fully at point guard. Maybe that would have helped Mayes' confidence or maybe not. Hard to say. But again, I think Miller prefers Lyons in the game than not in the game.
This is a really good time for UA to be hosting the Washington schools. While both teams have some very good players, Washington doesn't have much left to play for at this point and WSU is dealing with a key loss in Mike Ladd. It should be a week for the Wildcats to heal and get some positive momentum though that's certainly not a sure thing the way the past two weeks have been.
Assuming Mike Montgomery is not suspended, I'd go with Cal. Montgomery owns the Ducks for some reason. He's 10-0 against them at Cal. Plus it does not sound like Dominic Artis will be back yet, and Oregon remains beatable. Also, Cal is pushing for an NCAA berth with more desperation than Oregon has.
Josh is a terrific recruiter who is growing as a coach, and still needs to prove himself in the NCAA tournament. Miller is also a very good recruiter but he's older and more proven as a coach at this point so it's hard to compare.
well they pick 10 guys so it will be interesting to see how many UA, Oregon and UCLA get since all of those teams have a lot of candidates. Going north to south, how about C.J Wilcox, Brock Motum, E.J. Singler (gotta give it to somebody at Oregon, and he's an intangibles guy), Andre Roberson, Spencer Dinwiddie, Allen Crabbe, Shabazz Muhammad, Jahii Carson, Lyons and Hill. Some others to consider would be Larry Drew, Jason Washburn, Nick Johnson (who would have been first team a month ago), Carrick Felix, Roberto Nelson...
I've gotta think at this time of the year it's mostly about fatigue and a lack of intensity in some cases. Plus UA has never really had good perimeter defense other than Johnson. That's just the way it is for this team.
Good question. I've suspected that but all the answers I get are that he's fine. Whatever the case, he has hit a wall, sort of like he did last season as a freshman. But this year he's being asked to do much more -- defensively, scoring and playmaking.
All practices are closed except to TV broadcasters and occasional special guests. I've only seen one in four seasons under Miller. I do believe Miller gets into his players when they need it, but he has a way to do it without being physical. Every coach knows that pushing or shoving players is over the line, and that's why Montgomery is apologizing.
I don't get that impression. They are going hard at PGs in the class of 2014 but are putting a lot of faith in McConnell for next season. Still, they do have two spots open and i'm sure they'll take a look this spring especially if another transfer or four-year transfer becomes available.
I do think the chemistry is not as good as it was earlier though of course nobody will say that; it's just something you observe. Miller hinted that this could happen in January when players start thinking more about individual things than team goals. But I'm also sure he's working on it. The problem is it seems that whenever Miller works with Lyons on something, like not taking bad threes, things get better for a game or two and then regress. But as I've said earlier, I think Miller still believes UA is much better off with Lyons than without. And i don't think chemistry is a big issue at this point. This week should be a chance to improve it. If not that could mean trouble.
Miller said again that he will now play York; he's clearly frustrated with Mayes. (then again, Miller also said he would start playing Mayes before the Washington trip, then played him in both of those games but not again). One problem has been that Mayes can come in and play point guard, while York cannot. But Miller will deal with that now.
I wouldn't say they are declining but they are definitely stagnating while some teams are getting better. I said last week they would lose two more and i'll stick with that. they
they'll lose one more now. probably one of the LA games -- but it's not guaranteed it will be UCLA.
Well, as talented as he is, he's still a freshman. The other factor with all the freshmen big guys is they know they aren't being counted on to lead the team in scoring or anything, so it's easy to defer and get a little passive. It will be interesting to see if he gets more consistent if he continues to come off the bench -- as Miller suggested yesterday.
You know the story is that the Memphis AD rushed that hire because he feared Jim Livengood was going to hire him. However, Livengood wanted a coach with a more proven track record so I think Pastner was still further down on his list.
There is definitely a lot of familiarity within the Pac-12 at this point of the season but I don't think they've figured UA out more than anybody else. The only thing you could say is that teams have figured out that zones and frequently changing defenses can throw this team off. But Colorado played straight man to man and won that game because they played really well in an electric environment. UCLA won in part because UA was essentially over-hyped and started off poorly by missing a bunch of easy shots.
You have a point but I think the reason you don't see big developmental jumps in the freshmen is that they aren't being leaned on that much and they have to share the ball with a bunch of older players. Instead there are much more subtle signs of improvement in each of them, especially Tarczewski (witness the first half at Utah, when he played really well).
If I had to guess UA will tie with Oregon for the title but Ducks could keep slipping if Artis does not return. And if they tie with Oregon, they will lose the Pac-12 Tournament seed tiebreaker and may need to outlast the Ducks in the Pac-12 Tournament to get a West Region placement (w potential Sweet 16 game in L.A.) in the NCAA field.
This is clearly a team that has enough flaws to exit the first weekend but also enough talent and leadership to squeak into the Final Four. As of right now it looks more like the former but there's still a month to go. So your guess is as good as mine...
I never thought this was a great shooting team though there are a number of guys who can get hot. Just no knock-down shooter you can count on. I think fatigue and confidence are issues that are making it worse right now.
that's just his game. Jerrett's a very good face-up talent and, yes, i think coaches want him to do that. When he's out there he's very difficult to guard. Ashley is crafty and skilled around the basket while Tarczewski is obviously a force there. so collectively they are ok in that area with potential to get much better.