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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Miller implements spring workout program

For the first time in 25 years, Arizona basketball players were able to enjoy a week-long vacation with the rest of the university students.

“”Unfortunately, our guys went on spring break,”” said UA head coach Sean Miller. “”Hopefully that’s the last time they have to do that. That’s not a good thing, but we started our spring program.””

This is Miller’s first chance to implement his off-season workouts since his hiring last year. Because he arrived toward the end of the semester, Miller wasn’t able to put his plan in place.

“”Not only didn’t we have a spring program last spring, but I can honestly say we didn’t have a team,”” Miller said. “”I worked out with our guys maybe three times just so they could get a chance to get to know me.

“”Last spring was just kind of moving to Tucson and starting things up,”” he added. “”This spring is way more about improving, making sure everyone is doing a good job academically, getting stronger, getting closer together and setting the tone for a long and hopefully positive off-season.””

Arizona fans were forced to fill out an NCAA Tournament bracket without Arizona on it for the first time in a quarter century. This is Miller’s first tournament absence since the 2004-05 season, as Xavier’s head coach.

“”You’re sick to your stomach,”” Miller said of having to watch the tournament. “”That’s the quest, to get there as fast as we can. But when I consider where we’re at, this time last year was clearly in a better place.””

The first-year coach said he expects most of his players to spend more time in Tucson.

“”I don’t need 17 coaches coaching our players in the summer — I need one,”” Miller said. “”Where are you in the summer? I’m in Arizona, because that’s where I play, that’s what I do and that’s the program I’m a part of.

“”There are no excuses. I don’t need to go work out with so and so or here and there,”” he said.

Horne still needing improvement

Miller met with his players for season evaluations and to tell them what is expected next season. Most notably, the coach was adamant that forward Jamelle Horne get better for his senior season.

At one point, Miller made a list of things Horne must improve for next season:

• “”He has to do a better job of being a teammate,

• A better job of being about one thing only: winning

• A better job of having positive body language, regardless of whether things are going positive or negative.””

During the season, Miller would often show his disappointment with the lack of rebounding from the forward, but said he still believes Horne can turn into a senior who gets it in his final year.

“”If you look at (Brian) Zoubek at Duke … I’m sure their coaching staff, fans and players on the team wondered whether he can ever have an impact that can help them,”” Miller said. “”That light finally went on in his final year, and you can make the case that his improvement alone allowed them to do what they did this March.””

Horne was inconsistent in his first year under Miller, but the head coach believes the soon-to-be-senior can be a key to the team’s success.

“”There are certain things for our team to be the best it can be; he’s going to have to change and he knows that,”” Miller said.

Dondre Wise will return

The younger brother of former Wildcat Nic Wise will likely return to the team next season in what Miller called a non-scholarship role. Wise occupied the team’s final scholarship role in the 2009-10 season, his first at Arizona.

“”We’ve talked and Dondre had a lot of value to what we did, and I would anticipate him to come back,”” Miller said.

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