Arizona's Miller rips into team after loss to No. 23 Oregon
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Arizona's 49-game home winning streak had barely ended when coach Sean Miller ripped into his team.
In the aftermath of the 18th-ranked Wildcats 83-75 loss to No. 23 Oregon on Thursday night, Miller said his players simply aren't doing what he's telling them to do.
''I've never been more down looking at a team I coached than what I just saw,'' he said. ''Leadership, effort, togetherness, playing for the win. And right now things are going to get worse before they get better.''
He went on to elaborate on his disgust.
''We've got to come to grips with two things,'' Miller said. ''One, Sean Miller's your coach. You're gonna play for me. And Number 2 is, you're going to go so hard you can't breathe.''
He said the Wildcats are ''a collection right now of guys that are independent and thinking about a lot of things but certainly not thinking about what we're doing and what I'm talking about.''
Miller's displeasure was obvious on the sideline during the game. At one point in the first half, he had face-to-face tirade against Kaleb Tarczewski, pointing a finger inches from the big senior center's nose.
The coach was asked what prompted that outburst.
''This isn't tennis,'' Miller said. ''This is basketball. There's accountability on offense and defense and you win as a team and you lose as a team. I'll stop right there.''
The Wildcats, who fell to 16-5 overall and at 4-4 are tied for sixth in the Pac-12, had lots of trouble with Oregon's trapping zone defense, committing 19 turnovers to the Ducks' six.
''They had nine steals,'' Miller said. ''They played very hard. They've got great quickness. We were a disaster. We threw the ball to them on a number of occasions.''
He said don't confuse this team with the ones that have dominated Pac-12 play in the past.
''Don't judge this team like Derrick Williams is on it. Or Sean Elliott. Or Rondae Hollis-Jefferson,'' Miller said. ''Judge our team by the people that are in our locker room when we play. Just because things have happened in the past doesn't mean we can just - the Jumbotron comes up and the crowd starts going crazy - that we're going to win. That's not the way it works. It's a whole brand new ballgame right now.''
The Wildcats are home against Oregon State on Saturday night.