The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

67° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Miller’s intense system starts at scrimmage

Arizona men?s basketball head coach Sean Miller looks on at practice on Oct. 22 at McKale Center. In his first season as head coach, Miller will have his chance to implement his coaching style and leave his mark on the program.
Arizona men?s basketball head coach Sean Miller looks on at practice on Oct. 22 at McKale Center. In his first season as head coach, Miller will have his chance to implement his coaching style and leave his mark on the program.

It didn’t take long for sophomore guard Kyle Fogg to think of one word to describe UA men’s basketball head coach Sean Miller: intense.

“”He really gets after it, too, just like we do,”” Fogg said. “”And he expects 100 percent effort from us because he gives 100 percent effort.””

Sometimes Miller, a former guard, will even sub in for a player and run the offense during practice, though he’s going to let his players play on Sunday at 1 p.m. during Arizona’s Red/Blue intrasquad scrimmage.

Playing in a scrimmage situation is something the Wildcats are familiar with.

“”I think it should be a good game,”” Fogg said. “”Not as sloppy as you would think, because we’re really working hard on a lot of five-on-five stuff right now.””

Learning the new coaching staff’s system was difficult for the players at first, but they know that once they learn it, it will be smooth sailing.

“”Something that stuck to me, they said that whatever we learn now, it’s always going to be the same thing,”” said sophomore guard Brendon Lavender. “”It’s going to take a long time to learn it, until it’s a process, but as soon as we learn it, that’s the same thing we do for the next couple of years.””

And with all of the change the Wildcats have endured over the past few seasons — Miller is senior point guard Nic Wise’s fourth head coach at Arizona — it’s good to know consistency lies ahead.

But there are still some hurdles to jump as the season gets underway.

The Wildcats played a lot of zone defense under Russ Pennell last season. This season, the players have been playing with Miller’s man defense.

“”For me, it’s like a new man (defense),”” Fogg said. “”I’ve never played this kind of man defense before.””

Offensively, Miller and the coaching staff are still adding new plays, but he gives his players a lot of freedom.

“”We like it. There’s rules, obviously, but he’s letting us run,”” Fogg said. “”We just have to stand within his system.””

Fresh faces

Just a season away from being freshmen themselves, Fogg and Lavender were able to break down the five recruited freshmen of this season’s class.

• Lamont “”Momo”” Jones, 6-foot guard

“”He’s like a combo guard, 1-2, because he can handle (the ball) really well, and really has a knack for scoring. He’s just a really competitive guy, too, so it’s really tough playing against him.”” — Fogg

• Solomon Hill, 6-foot-6 forward

“”Solomon is one of the smartest players I’ve played with.”” — Fogg

• Kyryl Natyazhko, 6-foot-10 center

“”We definitely need a big man to step up since we lost one of the greatest players (in Jordan Hill).”” — Lavender

• Kevin Parrom, 6-foot-6 wing

“”He’s a great shooter, and his rebounding skills are a lot better than what I expected them to be.”” — Fogg

• Derrick Williams, 6-foot-8 forward/center

“”He’s real athletic. Real, real athletic. Raw talent. Throughout the system, I think he’s going to be a real, real good player in the next couple of years.”” — Lavender

Wise named to Naismith list

It was announced yesterday that Wise is one of 50 candidates on the preseason Naismith Trophy watch list, awarded to the national player of the year.

Wise was one of four Pacific 10 Conference players on the list, along with California seniors Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher, and Washington sophomore Isaiah Thomas.

More to Discover
Activate Search