Miller on sitting Fogg for entire second half: “No time to pout or pity-party”by Javier Morales on Nov. 26, 2010, under Sports
LAS VEGAS — A small group of media interviewing Arizona coach Sean Miller outside the Wildcats’ locker room Friday night got a sense for how intense the second-year coach can be with the Wildcats.
Arizona sophomore guard Kyle Fogg experienced first-hand the fire inside his coach. After the UA’s 82-59 win over Santa Clara at the Orleans Arena, Miller was asked about Fogg not playing in the second half, which lit somewhat of a fire under the coach.
“I’m not doing that (hold back) … This is a team sport,” Miller started. “This isn’t tennis. There’s no time to pout or pity-party if you don’t make shots or throw the ball out of bounds. We did that last year. If guys on the team don’t buy into the total team effort, and play for the win at all times, then you’re not going to see them at Arizona.
“And you’re damn sure not going to see them in the game. That’s why he didn’t play. We’ll move from now on to see where we go. This is about togetherness. Winning. Effort. It’s not about, ‘Damn, I missed a shot.’ That’s where I’m at.”
When asked if Fogg will play against No. 6 Kansas on Friday at the IBN.com Las Vegas Invitational, Miller answered tersely, “I don’t know.”
Fogg essentially stopped and stared at the basket after a turnover, while Santa Clara guard Robert Smith pushed the ball upcourt for a fast break. He finally realized the ball was moving the other way and was late on defense.
Smith cut the lead to 34-28 with a layup and was fouled by Solomon Hill on the play. Arizona led 30-19 only a minute before after a pair of three-pointers by Kevin Parrom.
“(Fogg’s behavior after the turnover) represents all the great former players; the great fans that we have, all the effort you put in as a team,” Miller said incredulously. “If you can’t run back, that’s a problem.”
Fogg played only 13 minutes and failed to score. He had four turnovers and no assists. Brendon Lavender, who made a couple of aggressive moves to the basket and played error-free, started the second half in place of Fogg.
Miller: Hill’s best game as a Cat
Miller was so impressed with the way sophomore forward Solomon Hill played that he labeled Hill’s performance, “His best game at Arizona.”
“He had 20 points, but it’s the way he did it,” Miller said. “He played to his strength. He was a load. He had a great finish. One thing I’ll give Solomon credit for: He didn’t start off the game playing well, yet he fought through it and came back and played a great game.”
Hill, who consistently took his defender off the dribble, made 5-of-6 attempts from the field and 10-of-12 from the free-throw line. He has also pulled down four rebounds with a blocked shot and steal.
“It’s just a result of hard work over the summer; the dedication,” Hill said. “It’s just about getting better and buying into what the coaches are trying to tell us on the court.”
Arizona, overall, attacked the basket often which resulted in Santa Clara hacking for the basketball. The Wildcats attempted 34 free throws, making 27, while the Broncos only attempted nine, making six.
“Making more free throws than the opponent attempts. It’s great to have that advantage,” Miller said.
Parrom Scare ‘em
Fogg’s potentially reduced minutes could pave the way for more opportunities for sophomore forward Kevin Parrom to be more of a contributor. Parrom provided a spark for the Wildcats, much like Lavender, by nailing two three-pointers to keep a safe lead over Santa Clara in the first half.
Parrom took it as a challenge to produce when Derrick Williams drew his second foul within the first two minutes of the game and he was inserted into the game with Jordin Mayes during the first media timeout.
“When Derrick got in foul trouble, I knew I had to step it up with three-pointers and drives,” said Parrom, who finished with 12 points and three rebounds in 21 minutes. “I need to bring a little bit of everything to the the team. I need to bring energy to the team with the way I play.”
Miller continued his theme about teamwork when discussing Parrom’s performance.
“Kevin is slowly becoming what we knew he could become,” Miller said. “He is one of many guys who have a key role. The thing I love is he’s a team guy. You don’t know how he’s playing. He does all the little things. It’s good to see him play unselfish. Whether he made shots or not, he can really pass the ball.
“Tonight, it was his play that sparked us.”