Cats go through “tough” practices; Miller joins in at timesby Steve Rivera on Oct. 28, 2009, under Sports
Twenty six years ago, former Arizona men’s basketball coach Lute Olson spent more hours stressing fundamentals and simple drills in his team’s first practice that he ended the day wondering why in the world he left Iowa.
The team was THAT bad. That doesn’t seem to be the case in Sean Miller’s first year and first couple of weeks of practice.
“Things are good; coach is pushing hard,’’ said UA sophomore guard Kyle Fogg. “They’ve let us play and are showing us plays.’’
Sophomore Brendon Lavender said the first practices were physically and mentally “tough’’ as the team prepares for Sunday’s annual Red-Blue game at McKale Center at 1 p.m.
How did the coaches deal with it?
“They were real positive about it,’’ said Fogg.
Miller was unavailable to speak to the media on Wednesday. He did not attend Wednesday’s press conference but will be available on Thursday at the annual Pac-10 Conference media day session in Los Angeles.
“Something that has stuck to me is that they said, ‘what we learn right now is always going to be the same thing,’’’ Lavender said, referring to the material learned. “(But) it’s going to be a long process.’’
And one never knows what to expect in the process.
Fogg said Miller is intense in the practices and has joined in on a practice or two.
“He expects a 100 percent effort from us because he gives 100 percent with his practice plan,’’ Fogg said. “He’s showing us how to move and how to play.’’
Fogg said the guys have responded well to the coaching and “they all like it.’’
The team has also responded to the style of play. Miller plans on implementing a fast break, up-and-down approach. There’s more freedom than in the past.
“He just lets us go,’’ Fogg said. “We just have to stick with a couple of rules.’’