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20-0 Is Incredible, But Where Are We?

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    Chi-City Chronic SCDave's Avatar
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    Arizona 20-0 Is Incredible, But Where Are We?

    Arizona heads to the Bay Area for their most important road trip of the season. IF Arizona can get a sweep, they will likely end the weekend with at least a 3 game lead in the conference race.

    But I think the bigger question is where is this team at this point in the season?

    Is the team still getting better? Is there still a chance to get some production from a third player off the bench?

    Or has the team peaked? Was the LA trip and ASU game the high water marks for the season? Will the starters be able to maintain 30+ minutes per game for the rest of the season?

    Has Arizona played its best ball in December/January and if so what does that mean going forward?

    I am interested in what everyone thinks.

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    Chi City Chronic Esq's Avatar
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    Really worried about the urge to stat watch over the rest of the season.

    It's that time of year where people start to look more and more at their NBA stock. Miller mentioned this was an issue with last years team come this time of year when we started that slide. Sounded reasonably confident this group is a bit different, but it's still a concern of mine. Last game there was a lot of one on one being played and we struggled.

    If we can avoid this urge, we easily continue this success.

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    Wildcat Fan MOWildcat's Avatar
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    Coach Miller

    I find myself wondering the same thing as they come out flat or have tough first halves but that has been the story all season. They come out looking like this game will be the one they lose and then they manage to keep the other team from running away and continue to wear them out. The next thing you know there's a couple minutes left to play and our Wildcats have a ten point lead.

    Remember, being number one mean everyone has us circled, everyone is giving Arizona their best game. Our boys have seen many different offenses and defenses and figured out how to defeat each one. Personally I think they're getting stronger. I don't think we've seen their best yet.

    We've seen each player have an off night and others step up and fill the gap. This team ability to lean on each other and persevere even as it looks hopeless is amazing. I know the odds are against it but I'm one of those that wants to believe we're watching something incredible. A team that a movie will be written about some day. Number one and 20-0 and I believe we haven't seen their best. Bear Down Wildcats! Thank you for this incredible ride!


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    Norcal Ninjas BaycatJ's Avatar
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    Every Miller team I've followed has peaked in March. Without fail. You could maybe argue that last year's team peaked around the New Year, but I really believe even they peaked in March. In Miller I trust.

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    well technically speaking we are at the half way point of a 40 game season ;)
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    Wildcat Fan MOWildcat's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BaycatJ View Post
    Every Miller team I've followed has peaked in March. Without fail. You could maybe argue that last year's team peaked around the New Year, but I really believe even they peaked in March. In Miller I trust.

    There's no "like" link on here. But absolutely on both counts. Miller's teams have performed at a much higher level than anyone expected come March time and again. And "In Miller I trust." is perfect. I can sit here and worry or I can know that a future Hall of Fame coach is at the helm and is making the proper adjustments as we speak. Miller is the man and we will either win it all this year or Miller will gain even more wisdom and make further adjustments to ensure Arizona is a dominant program for years to come.


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    Rio RawDogs Jeff's Avatar
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    Nick has played better offensively the past two or three weeks than during the non-conference schedule. Last week, his midrange game was automatic. He was draining threes the week or two before that. It looks like he has become the reliable scorer we didn't think he was early in the season.

    But even if this team has peaked, Arizona still is championship-caliber, which is crazy.
    "Riding quasars all the way to the top of the mountain" - Bill Walton
    "#Shouldershimmythempeoples" - Kevin Durant

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    The growth I'd like to see between now and March is on getting more consistent offensive productivity out of Tarc. That's got to be a team goal--they need to hone the offense to get him the ball more often in a good position to score. If they do, it'll open up the mid-range jumpers and boost everyone's stats. if we can't figure that piece out, it is hard to see us making major improvements through, and peaking in, March. Oh, and Gordon's gotta learn to make his damn free throws....

    p.s. just imagine if we had Jerrett and Chol back!

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    Wildcat Fan AlwaysBeenACatFan's Avatar
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    Trying to compare the past few Miller teams and there is ONE really big difference between this one and the last two. We saw some of this in the 2010-2011 team. They are having fun and you can tell that they are all on the same page working together. As long as you see these two things going forward, I wouldn't worry. I always felt this was missing from last years team. No one player is bigger than the team and the BIG prize is the goal. I still think we will drop a couple of games in the regular season, probably 1 this weekend, but looking at the big picture, I see full engines ahead.
    "Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway."
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    I would be lieing if I told you I wasn't worried about playing any other team in the nation right now. Take Kansas for example, they have really really improved, and I think could be a really difficult out come tourney time. Teams like MSU (when healthy) are not teams we are just gonna walk over. I think we obviously deserve the #1 tag, but in no way do I think the final 4 is a lock.

    However, as Baycat mentioned, Miller's teams always seem to peak in the tourney. Last year, I legitimately thought Belmont would be a tough game. Then I thought OSU would beat us pretty good. But that team played the best 3 game stretch of its season and had OSU on the ropes.

    Even the '11 elite 8 team. Every game, I just thought we were going to get dominated, but every game they just played their hearts out. That says a lot about Miller, and I think he knows that's really the only part of the season people will remember.

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    Aaron knows how to shoot the free throws. We've heard several times how he's making bunches in practice and shoot arounds. The problem, I believe, is he's either trying too hard when he's in the game, or he's allowing the crowd, the noise.....the cheerleaders, something to distract him. He needs to get to the line, relax, take a couple of deep breaths, and see only the rim. At that moment in time, nothing else exists.

    I know that Utah's defense was in part responsible for the low shooting percentages for most of the team last game. But TJ missed several wide open three's and several other missed shots by some of the other Wildcats were wide open as well. Every player, every team goes through shooting slumps. I would really like to see the Wildcats shoot great on both games this road trip. And I want a new bicycle and a new watch.

    Coach Miller has made progress every year since he's been here. He started with a bare cupboard when he got here and this is the first season that the cupboard is full. Other than the first season, which any reasonable person wouldn't count, he's continued to raise Arizona higher and higher. Last season with a point guard who cared more about scoring and getting stats than helping the team, the Wildcats were ranked in the top ten for most of the season. NOW IT'S #1!! I have faith in Coach Miller. One of his many great traits so far is he's always had the Wildcats peaking at the end of the season. I think it's on the players now and I believe their heads are in the right place. I'm not going to worry about what happens if, or will this happen or that. I'm just going to enjoy watching a team that just about every other team fears playing and is playing some great BBall.

    Bear Down Wildcats!

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    What's the point of posting if I can't get any likes with my brilliant insight?

    In all seriousness, there is no way we've peaked. We still have stretches during games where we play poorly, sloppily. We turn the ball over too much on occasion. We play hero ball from time to time. We have yet to string together a complete game. Until that happens, I believe there is room to get better.

    I am a little concerned with AG though. Seems he's forcing the issue a little more than he has this season. Taking bad shots, putting his head down and driving to the rim, regardless of who's in front of him. He was lucky he didn't pick up an offensive foul or two. That he's doing this doesn't bother me so much as the reason behind why he's doing this. Is he starting to realize he's the most athletic player on the floor no matter who we're playing? Or is he deciding he needs to show scouts more and is attempting to do this? I'm hoping it's not the latter but I fear that might be the case as he did a not very good job of picking his spots to attack last game. It seemed he got a little Rondae in him and was gonna jack a shot any time he touched the ball.

    Don't get me wrong, his effort on the boards was one of the main reasons we won. He's crucial to what we do. If it is the former and he's doing this because he knows it will help, then we're gonna be in a good place. And if he learns to pick his spots better and assert himself, then look out. He has the ability to dominate, but we haven't seen that. So if he breaks that out, within what we already do, then we definitely haven't peaked.

    Regardless, every player on this team can get better. Well, maybe not Nick as Utah might have been the best game I've ever seen him play, so all he needs to do is that exact same thing every night. But every player can get better and I hope is willing to try and do that. If that's the case, we're fine.
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    Pima County Crush dpw0405's Avatar
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    I like your post, Red.

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    This team needs to step on some throats. We need a couple 20+ point victories. Team is looking complacent at times, and the hero ball does start to show a little. TJ also needs to hit his shots. He didnt look like his normal self against Utah.

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    Utah might have been the best game I've ever seen him play
    Might have been?!? I thought it was his best game by a mile.

    This team has seemed to play better on the road, and I think getting away for a long week this week will really help refocus the team. Having only three games in two weeks (against less-than-stellar competition, no less) at home seemed to soften the guys up a bit, which is understandable given all the hype/press they've been receiving. I'm sure every time they walk down the street or go to class, people are congratulating them and making comments about how great the team is. Success in March will come if the team embraces the challenge without buying the hype. Throughout the Utah game, it looked like the team bought the hype. Getting away from Tucson and McKale may be exactly what the team needs to reorient themselves. If they come out flat tomorrow and start playing hero ball like the first ten minutes against Utah, then I'll start to get worried about where their heads are and if everyone is still buying into the TEAM first. But for now, a crappy couple of home games is to be expected given the whirlwind the guys must be finding themselves in the middle of the last few weeks.

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    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=10360366&s=espn

    jim boheim thinks we're a cut above the rest. that there's a discernible gap between arizona and the next 15-20 teams that could potentially make the ff. give it a listen. first mention of arizona comes a little after the 12min mark.
    "if you're not bearin down, i dont know whatcha doin"

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    There is definitely room for improvement in several areas....AG's free throws (and FT's as a whole), TJM/NJ's outside shooting (consistency), BA's motor, Zeus' offensive consistency, not missing so many bunnies in the paint. If this team is able to show moderate improvement in some or all of these areas, they will beat anyone on any given day. They are still winning without being great in so many areas, so there is definitely room to improve. I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season unfolds.
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    Originally Posted by JS Esq. View Post
    Might have been?!? I thought it was his best game by a mile.

    This team has seemed to play better on the road, and I think getting away for a long week this week will really help refocus the team. Having only three games in two weeks (against less-than-stellar competition, no less) at home seemed to soften the guys up a bit, which is understandable given all the hype/press they've been receiving. I'm sure every time they walk down the street or go to class, people are congratulating them and making comments about how great the team is. Success in March will come if the team embraces the challenge without buying the hype. Throughout the Utah game, it looked like the team bought the hype. Getting away from Tucson and McKale may be exactly what the team needs to reorient themselves. If they come out flat tomorrow and start playing hero ball like the first ten minutes against Utah, then I'll start to get worried about where their heads are and if everyone is still buying into the TEAM first. But for now, a crappy couple of home games is to be expected given the whirlwind the guys must be finding themselves in the middle of the last few weeks.
    It was his best game. Not even up for debate. Disregard the "might have been" and replace with "was."
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    Only can an undefeated season bring talk of peaking already. Arizona just beat 15 and 14 win teams by 21 combined. Only 3 teams in conference play have been within single digits of us at the end of the game. The other teams we've beaten by an average of 22 points per game. We still have 7 conference road games left, so let's see how we are at the end of those.

    Where are we...20-0 without a great deal of sweating it out. Solid.
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    Wildcat Fan titan4wildcats's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting that link jmoon! I listened and it was amazing how much praise the Syracuse coach has for Arizona. By his standards, it sounds like there's Arizona.....and then there's a dog fight with the rest for the scraps. Very interesting. Maybe if the voters for the AP and the Coaches poll listened to him, Arizona would get all the votes for first in each. It's something when the coach of the team that's second in the nation describes the first place team like that.

    Again, thanks for posting.

  21. #21
    Wildcat Fan Statman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by El Cunado View Post
    There is definitely room for improvement in several areas....AG's free throws (and FT's as a whole), TJM/NJ's outside shooting (consistency), BA's motor, Zeus' offensive consistency, not missing so many bunnies in the paint. If this team is able to show moderate improvement in some or all of these areas, they will beat anyone on any given day. They are still winning without being great in so many areas, so there is definitely room to improve. I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season unfolds.
    This is a bit where I'm at. AG can't get worse at the line. RHJ and the diversity he brings will get more PT, which I think is good. TJ is a much better shooter (from 3 & the line) than he's shown so far, that'll improve. I don't think this team has come close to peaking yet, although I think there has been a little midseason lull recently. I think "eyes on the prize" type stuff will kick in a bit when the "prize" gets closer - I can't wait to see the type of defense that'll be played when we're closer to win or out scenerios.

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    It's easy to see or assume that with a perfect record, some fans would think we're playing great and we are. In fact the things the team does well is enough to overshadow the small things and while they show resilience,,they definitely aren't playing at full potential. Starting with AG's FT% coupled with the over all perimeter shooting collectively.

    Although I'll even argue that when you have the length and size in the post to break down defenses, why change what works. If the team can just show some consistency from outside shooting from York and TJ and NJ is already doing it, it would make this team deadly.
    #4Bashley

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    Arizona

    The good, we haven't peaked yet. The bad, the bench should be playing more but can't because we aren't putting teams away.

    Every time I see teams hanging with us I have nightmare visions of Illinois.

    A lot of the issues would be solved if the Cats could just improve their free throws. If the Cats could improve the percentage in this area, they would be averaging closer to 80 points per game.

    Defense is awesome and I haven't seen too many lapses there.

    BEAR DOWN

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    Originally Posted by titan4wildcats View Post
    Aaron knows how to shoot the free throws. We've heard several times how he's making bunches in practice and shoot arounds.

    Show me a player who people say is a good practice free throw shooter and I'll show you a bad free throw shooter. The first guy to start shooting free throws underhanded will earn my undying respect.

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    Wildcat Fan arizona_pausch's Avatar
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    If they start making some ****ing FT's I don't see us losing in the near future....those 55-60% games are killing any sort of momentum and handing possessions away at a crazy rate. Any team in the country would love to trade 2pts for 1 (if that the way we shoot our 1and1's). Make 75% and we cover every vegas spread...

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    We can also improve our post player's communication with each other on the boards. It seems that every game there are 3-5 times when 2 or 3 of our guys are fighting each other for a rebound and it either goes out of bounds, or one guy from the other team (seems like its a guard a lot of the time, so a midget among the trees) is battling with our 3 guys but still ends up with it.

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    Wildcat Fan titan4wildcats's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dr.kennethnoisewater View Post
    Show me a player who people say is a good practice free throw shooter and I'll show you a bad free throw shooter. The first guy to start shooting free throws underhanded will earn my undying respect.
    Dr. K...I love that last sentence. It's been so long since I've seen anyone shoot an underhanded free throw I'd forgotten all about them. Wouldn't that be a riot to see Aaron start shooting that way and making 80%!!

    Thanks for that memory Dr.

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    Originally Posted by titan4wildcats View Post
    Dr. K...I love that last sentence. It's been so long since I've seen anyone shoot an underhanded free throw I'd forgotten all about them. Wouldn't that be a riot to see Aaron start shooting that way and making 80%!!

    Thanks for that memory Dr.
    If I remember correctly, Ric Barry, an excellent shooter from the field shot FT underhanded to the tune of 89.3% for his ABA/NBA career

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    Originally Posted by ared4 View Post
    What's the point of posting if I can't get any likes with my brilliant insight?

    In all seriousness, there is no way we've peaked. We still have stretches during games where we play poorly, sloppily. We turn the ball over too much on occasion. We play hero ball from time to time. We have yet to string together a complete game. Until that happens, I believe there is room to get better.

    I am a little concerned with AG though. Seems he's forcing the issue a little more than he has this season. Taking bad shots, putting his head down and driving to the rim, regardless of who's in front of him. He was lucky he didn't pick up an offensive foul or two. That he's doing this doesn't bother me so much as the reason behind why he's doing this. Is he starting to realize he's the most athletic player on the floor no matter who we're playing? Or is he deciding he needs to show scouts more and is attempting to do this? I'm hoping it's not the latter but I fear that might be the case as he did a not very good job of picking his spots to attack last game. It seemed he got a little Rondae in him and was gonna jack a shot any time he touched the ball.

    Don't get me wrong, his effort on the boards was one of the main reasons we won. He's crucial to what we do. If it is the former and he's doing this because he knows it will help, then we're gonna be in a good place. And if he learns to pick his spots better and assert himself, then look out. He has the ability to dominate, but we haven't seen that. So if he breaks that out, within what we already do, then we definitely haven't peaked.

    Regardless, every player on this team can get better. Well, maybe not Nick as Utah might have been the best game I've ever seen him play, so all he needs to do is that exact same thing every night. But every player can get better and I hope is willing to try and do that. If that's the case, we're fine.
    Really good points and insights. Unfortunately AG seemed to push way too hard, trying 3s, early shots, unnecessary penetrations, free throw misses as usual, and offensive foul.. He is defensively great and should really not to try to prove himself! He is what he is because of his invisible contributions to the number 1 team in Arizona. If he tries to go beyond this, it won't be good neither for us and him. I have a huge respect for him and believe he will be a great player. He just needs to focus now!

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