Arizona Basketball

A kinder, gentler Miller for the Arizona Wildcats? Try a more “aware” one


Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller addressed Wednesday in Phoenix his comment about dialing back his intensity in a recent SI interview with Seth Davis.

“The longer you do this, the more you realize from an intensity perspective, sometimes the environment is enough,” the normally fiery Miller conceded to Davis.

Asked Wednesday by Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic about that comment, Miller said first and foremost he has to be himself.

“The minute you try to be somebody you’re not, it’s a disaster,” Miller said at Wednesday’s Arizona Road Tour stop at Culinary Dropout/The Yard in Tempe. “That’s who I am. But I think as long as the season is and you have those big, big moments in a high-pressure environment, single elimination, and at times, you have to be aware because sometimes the game itself and the moment itself is intense enough. And at that time, your players just need a partner.”

The topic of Arizona not reaching the Final Four yet again came up. The Wildcats have not made it that far in the last 16 seasons while reaching the Elite Eight four times since, three times under Miller.

“Everybody wants to win every game at Arizona, and I get that,’’ Miller said. “They want us badly to get to the Final Four, and I get that, and they should be disappointed. For me, if you’re a coach or player that is uncomfortable with that, then you need to leave and go somewhere else where it’s easier. … If you keep knocking on the door, eventually you break through.”

Miller is 220-66 in eight seasons at Arizona. He is a three-time Pac-12 coach of the year. He has four regular-season conference titles to his credit and two conference tournament championships, including this season.

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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