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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Miller ‘disappointed’ in team not living up to Arizona basketball standards

Colin Darland
Colin Darland

Arizona has faced a handful of obstacles this season, and UA head coach Sean Miller has arguably done more with less than any coach in the Pac-12 Conference because of them.

But even considering the Kevin Parrom situation, the loss of Derrick Williams and Momo Jones and the dismissal of Sidiki Johnson, among other hurdles, Miller is still not pleased with his team’s falling short of the expectations that come with Arizona basketball.

“I’m disappointed as we are right now,” Miller said. “I think when you’re the head coach at Arizona it’s about winning while competing for a regular-season championship. It’s about being part of the NCAA Tournament and it’s about having a team that can advance in the NCAA tournament like we did last year.”

Miller acknowledged that Arizona’s had a lot of “great moments” this season. He said he thinks he’s gotten a lot out of his team for the most part, but at the end of the day, a 21-10 team that needs to win the conference tournament to get into the Big Dance isn’t what Arizona basketball is all about.

“I think we’ve had a lot of great moments, but this is the University of Arizona,” Miller said. “This isn’t 21-10. I’m not walking down the street feeling like we’ve accomplished a great deal. The bar here is extremely high and we’re not going to lower it for any reason. That’s the challenge and we have to be consistent in doing that year in and year out.”

Pac-12 Tournament deserves new home

The Pac-12 Tournament has been held at the Staples Center since 2002 but has been under major scrutiny for poor attendance. Las Vegas has been rumored as a potential new destination, but nothing is set in stone.

Miller agrees the tournament needs either a new home or better attendance, because given the Pac-12’s history, it’s not fair to the players.

“For our players to play in a conference like the Pac-12 that has such a great history and great players and teams and national championship teams, for a conference to be in a setting with anything less is not right,” he said. “There are too many conference tournaments that have an incredible atmosphere and energy and feel to it. There’s no reason why our conference can’t experience the same thing.”

Miller all for Whitford to Miami of Ohio

Miller could lose his top assistant to Miami of Ohio this offseason after Redhawks head coach Charlie Coles called it quits on Monday after 16 years at the helm.

James Whitford, who’s been with Miller since 2005 and coached under Coles for 11 years, is rumored to be a candidate for the Miami of Ohio opening.

“I couldn’t imagine anyone being more prepared, more experienced, better person, ready to be a head coach than James Whitford,” Miller said. “He’s an exceptional coach, one of the most loyal people that I’ve been around.”

While at Arizona, Whitford coached up UA’s defense and was the point man in recruiting Solomon Hill, Derrick Williams, Gabe York, Grant Jerrett and Brandon Ashley.

“Those are some pretty good players,” Miller said with a smile, “and he did it all not being from the West.

“I would hate to lose him but it’s the right thing if he were given that opportunity and it has to be a good one for him to leave Arizona but that’s all part of this. I want that for him. I hope he gets that opportunity whether it’s this year or beyond, but I know he’s ready to go right now.”

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