The conclusion of Arizona coach Sean Miller after a 68-64 victory at Utah: “We leave here with a great road win, but for me, it’s more of the same for our basketball team.”
Not being able to put games away. Inconsistent offense. Poor shooting. Disappearing defense.
But what really frosted Miller was a segment late in the first half.
Arizona had the ball with a 10-point lead, but a turnover by Mark Lyons led to a fast-break layup by Brandon Taylor.
“When we have the ball at the end of the half, we’re the worst team in the country,” Miller said in his postgame show on 1290-AM (KCUB).
“Not only don’t we get a shot, but we turn it over and we give them a breakaway, which we did again in this game.”
It was a replay of what happened in a home loss to Cal on Feb. 10. UA had the ball up seven but turned it over, leading to two points for Allen Crabbe in the final second as the Bears trimmed the lead to 38-33.
“Against Cal, one of the big momentum-turning plays was the last play of the half,” Miller said.
“We drove too early, turned it over and they ran down and dunked it. They went into halftime on a four- or five-point swing. Not only aren’t we scoring on the last play of the half when we have the ball, but many times we’re giving it to them.”
Miller then went into his fully sarcastic mode about the end-of-half situations.
“I told our team, one of the things we’re going to do is just dribble the ball to halfcourt, not shoot, and tuck it in, so at least we don’t give them a two or a three,” he said.
“When you’re in the middle of February and you’re still making that mistake, it’s very difficult as a coach to say, ‘Hey, we’re really rolling, things are great.’”