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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat



Over the past few weeks the Arizona basketball team was beginning to create a buzz. After a disappointing weekend, it’s become really quiet around McKale Center.

A great deal of that silence can be attributed to the fact that the players weren’t allowed to speak to the media on Tuesday in the team’s weekly press conference.

In fact, after an embarrassing 71-49 loss at UCLA on Saturday, the only player made available after a game was sparingly used center Kyryl Natyazhko.

So why is head coach Sean Miller prohibiting his players from speaking to the media?

“”There’s a lot on our guys’ plate,”” Miller said yesterday in a press conference.

“”Not only are they going to class, we’re playing for a lot,”” he added. “”We’re getting ready to go into postseason, just allowing those guys to go through their day and thinking about what they need to do, which is be at our best on Thursday.””

Riding an eight-game winning streak and top-10 ranking, the Wildcats went into last weekend like a team that let the hype get to its head.

“”It’s just human nature to get caught up in it,”” Miller said. “”Do I think the top-10 ranking, being 23-4, the Washington white-out home game probably had us off track a bit? Yes.

“”What I do also hope is that, that weekend serves its purpose, refocuses us and gets us back on track of what we do and why we’re 23-6 right now.””

Despite the fact that the games in Southern California exposed the Wildcats’ lack of size and defensive intensity, the Wildcats are still in a better position than many would believe coming into the season.

“”If I would have told you in October that we would have been playing Oregon State and Oregon for the Pac-10 title and for our 24th and 25th possible win,”” Miller said. “”On your end you would say a lot would have to go right for these guys.

“”A lot has gone right for us.””

Putting this past weekend in perspective, Miller cautioned his team to not panic but at the same time take notice of the losses.

“”Nothing is ever as good as it seems and nothing is ever as bad,”” he added.

New Starters?

After two straight losses, Miller said he may look at changing the starting line-up.

“”We’re working through that right now, over the next couple days of practice,”” Miller said. “”No matter who starts the game we’re going to play 10 players, it’s the players 6-10 (in the rotation) that’s made a difference for us.””

Small forward Solomon Hill’s struggles in the last few games could mean that Kevin Parrom will start in his place.

“”Regardless of who starts, we have to play Kevin (Parrom) more,”” Miller said. “”I don’t think he goes from 20 minutes to 40 but playing 25 minutes a game, he’s earned that.””

Miller admitted that he looks at the line-up differently after two straight losses.

“”That’s one thing as a coach when you’re on an eight-game win streak,”” he added. “”It’s tough to change, but when you lose a couple, you reflect and see things in clearer light.””

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