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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Miller: ‘No way in the world we’re the third’ best

It’s standard protocol for head coaches to disregard preseason polls and rankings. Former UA football coach Mike Stoops did exactly that at Pac-12 football Media Day as he joked about the Wildcats being picked fourth in the Pac-12 South.

“I don’t know, must think I’m a bad coach,” he said with a laugh.

But not Sean Miller.

The Wildcats were chosen to finish third in the Pac-12 in the preseason media poll, and Miller couldn’t disagree more. At Pac-12 Media Day in Los Angeles, Miller made it clear that finishing third in the Pac-12 this season is more than wishful thinking.

“There’s no way in the world we’re the third best team in the Pac-12,” Miller told the media. “You can say every coach says something like that. I didn’t say that last year. Hopefully I won’t say it next year, but I’m saying it now. There is no chance at all that’s where we are.”

Miller admitted that, down the road, Arizona could finish near the top of the conference. But as of now, the Wildcats are young and inexperienced at key positions, and they’re missing one of their best players in Kevin Parrom.

Those factors showed up in the Wildcats’ 69-68 loss to Seattle Pacific last Thursday, leading Miller and his staff to believe Arizona is weeks away from competing in the Pac-12.

“Now we will develop or get Kevin back, guys like Kyle (Fogg) will lead us, and we have tremendous improvement through the next two months, that’s our goal and that’s what we hope to accomplish,” Miller said to the media in Los Angeles. “But last night you really got a true sense of where our team is. The youthfulness.”

“So for us right now, to me, we had our humble pie,” Miller added. “When you watch us in November, you’re going to see that whoever we play is going to be a really tough game because we have a lot of development to do.”

*Parrom progressing *

Parrom, who continues to rehab his right leg after being shot in the Bronx, N.Y., on Sept. 24, should be ready to return in late November or early December, according to Miller.

“His status, I really believe he’ll return to the court this year,” Miller said. “We’re pointing towards late November, early December if he continues to experience the same progress that he has.”

Miller explained that after he was shot, Parrom lost all feeling and movement in his leg. But just over five weeks have passed and Parrom is now running and participating in non-contact drills for the first time.

Parrom’s rehab is more than just physical, however. His mother, Lisa Williams, recently died after a two-year battle with breast cancer. Parrom also lost his grandmother over the summer.
But Miller said Parrom has a renewed outlook and is moving in a positive direction.

“When he came back from New York here early this week, he had a different look in his eye,” Miller said. “Almost as if all the bad things are over. And I believe returning to the court is a real significant carrot for him. Hopefully over these next three or four weeks he can work towards getting back. If he’s able to rejoin our team in early December, it will be a huge bonus for us as we move forward.”

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