Live Q&A with Patrick Finley on Pac-12 basketball - Arizona Daily Star

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Live Q&A with Patrick Finley on Pac-12 basketball

Join Patrick Finley Wednesday at noon MST for a live Q&A chat on Pac-12 basketball. Submit your questions beforehand in the comment box and get them answered during the live chat.

  • The money is very good. Schools will receive, on average, $20.8 million annually from ESPN and Fox, though it's not to that figure in the early years, plus whatever the Pac-12 Networks can make. I believe more playing high-profile ESPN games has helped the league immensely. The way college sports works these days, leagues and teams NEED ESPN to be talking about them. Were Direct TV signed on, I would call the media deal a home run. Until then, it's a stand-up triple.
  • The MGM Grand. I was joking the other day that strolling through the lobby should be, um, interesting, especially late at night. Though coaches told me yesterday they didn't think the temptations of Sin City were that much worse than being any other place. Also, there's a lion in the lobby. That's pretty awesome.
  • If by "we," you mean the UA, I'd argue that they're already good. When are they going to be great? We'll see. The good news is that, nationwide, nobody's awesome. Indiana has lost two of three, and most people consider them the nation's best team. More than any other March I can remember, I think there are probably a dozen teams capable of getting hot and winning the Big Dance. If Arizona gets hot — and that's a big if — I think they might join that group. They wouldn't be on my list as of today, though.
  • Curious how you would rate development of UA freshman compared to other highly ranked freshman in the rest of the PAC 12.
  • UCLA's freshmen have, unquestionably, been better. Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson were ranked in Scout.com's top 4, while Arizona's big three all were in the top 10. But they're guards, and guards are different than forwards, in terms of speed of development. Jahii Carson has really grown this season, but he had a year of practice, so that's not apples-to-apples.
  • I'm not sure we've talked about the idea of pressing here before. I've maintained that it might be a good idea. And the pressure seemed to work in the final minutes in LA. As you said, Arizona can go 10-deep, and nine — maybe all but Tarczewski — have the footspeed to do it. That said, Miller's thinking appears to be that if the UA can't guard in the half-court, they can't do it full-court either. It might force more possessions, but that's not a good thing, necessarily.
  • Thoughts on why we go early to Zeus but then get away from it as game goes on? He was getting UCLA in foul trouble early but we stopped feeding him the ball
  • The trend, seemingly all season, is that players are reticent to dump the ball inside to him if he bobbles a pass or two early in the game. It's interesting to watch the UA early in games, though — they almost always make a conscious effort to go down low in the first coupla minutes.
  • Our own Bruce Pascoe wrote a story about Lyons in today's paper. Give it a read, if you haven't already. My thought: Lyons isn't an ideal point guard, but Nick Johnson certainly isn't, either. Fact is, Momo Jones leaving two years ago after reading the writing on the wall that Josiah Turner would play last season, and then Turner being a complete dumpster fire and leaving, hurt the Wildcats this year. They weren't going to have a true PG regardless of whether Lyons transferred or not.
  • I don't know about the Ollie story — off topic: he's done a wonderful job at UConn, and should be a national coach of the year finalist — but Miller has spoken over and over this year about how York should fit nicely on next year's team. Will he transfer? Who knows. But his mom moved to Tucson before the season started, so it would require, essentially, uprooting his family.
  • Do we have what it takes to beat a team like Indiana or Duke? It seems to me that our miami win was lucky and we wouldnt be able to play at that level consistantly through the ncaa tourney
  • I think this is the year that almost anybody can pull an upset like that in the tournament.
  • Cats need Solo, Lyons and KP to become floor leaders during the tourney. Who is going to step up?
  • I would bet on Hill. He played out of his mind Wednesday at USC, and then struggled at UCLA. Miller said Hill probably put too much emphasis on his last regular-season game in his hometown. I can't see him doing that again in the tournament. The bigger question, in my mind, isn't leadership or talking or motivation — it's, who's going to defend like their life depends on it?
  • Ashley and Jerrett have not been very productive this year. Do you see them being more so next year with McConnell (a true point guard) running the team?
  • I see them being more productive next year because they'll be sophomores. Big guys rarely, rarely star as freshmen. (Anthony Davis, I think, might have colored our opinion a little too much the other way; he's the exception, not the rule.) Maybe having a pass-first PG will help; it's hard to imagine it won't. But with Hill, Parrom and Lyons gone, there will simply be more shots to be had, too. Lyons and Hill have combined for 271 field-goal attempts this year.
  • This is a softball question. Is there a medical redshirt in softball? I was thinking about Fowler.
  • I was an ardent Miller supporter - but ... It occurs to me that he made a mistake with Turner. A mistake replacing the entire frontline with players (while talented) who have no experience and no D1 skills (for most of the season). Made a mistake with Lyons as point (as his 4th point in 4 years - none of whom was a point). It seems to me that the team is nothing more or less than what we could reasonably expect under the circumstances. And as a comment - this team is not good. I beg to respectfully differ. Good teams are fundamentally sound. This team isnt that. Good teams are consistent. This team isnt that. Good teams play from the front - this team plays from behind like a D2 team in a big game. Olsons teams (I am not a huge huge Olson fan) were polite, nice and made it clear they were going to beat the opponent to death. This team doesnt have that. This team cant do that. I still respect Miller, but the list of mistakes mentioned have lowered my opinion of his judgement. He is a risk taker. He needs to learn there is no short cut to building a good program. His mistakes have compounded and are now bearing fruit. Remember, they lose three of their most experience players next year. They will not have a backcourt - TJ cant do it alone. My intention isnt to sound negative or to bash Miller. At this point I expected Miller to have a team that could win from the front - not hope to be close in the final minute like a D2 team. Sorry, but true. This team is wobbly (question) - what if TJ isnt a world beater and is instead just a point? Where will the program be then? (Sorry for being wordy)
  • With mayes playing better, is miller finally going to pull Lyons out after he continues to take bad 3 point shots?
  • We all saw that last week against UCLA Jordin Mayes had more confidence shooting the ball and as usual did a good job defending. Should Mayes get some more minutes Saturday now that he might have his confidence up but to also slow down Jahii Carson?
  • I have rumors that Mark Lyons has caused some chemistry problems on this team, but certainly is abilities outweigh any problems he may have caused. Your thoughts
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