Duquesne at Arizona: Another reason Sean Miller is well-respected

Another mid-major school comes into McKale Center today, and Sean Miller has already ignited the propositions of this being another difficult game.

Miller, a master of playing genie-in-a-bottle, usually if not always has good things to say about his upcoming opponents. It's one reason why Miller's teams never take lesser schools lightly.

But it also shows how much Arizona's third-year head coach knows about the college game. I mean, the guy scheduled Seattle Pacific and Humboldt State in the exhibition season because he knew it'd test his Wildcats. He knows this game in and out, is what I'm getting at.

So when he calls Duquesne's point guard, T.J. McConnell perhaps one of the best players in America, you better believe him. 

From Greg Hansen's postgame column from the Valparaiso win:

... Miller spent about five minutes digesting the good and bad of Monday's game and began sizing up Wednesday's game against Duquesne. Miller isn't one to blow smoke and give false praise to a designated victim.

He said the Dukes play a 40-minutes-of-hell style, pressing with four guards, one of whom, T. J. McConnell, had 91 steals as part of Duquesne's pressing system last year.

"He's the consummate point guard," said Miller. "Duquesne is going to make it as chaotic as possible."

Two seasons ago, I remember Miller calling some dude named Jimmer Fredette one of the best point guards in the nation. That was before Fredette dropped a McKale record 49 points on Arizona, before Fredette was even in the All-American conversation, and a year before The Jimmer became the NCAA's highlight reel and a first round NBA Draft pick.

So all that says is believe what you hear from Arizona's coach. Head coach Ron Everhart's Duquesne's team out of the Atlantic 10 Conference won't be a pushover. They run a hectic defense, and McConnell is also a huge part of the offense.

Considering the sloppy starts the Wildcats have presented so far, that could mean trouble. Alertness, smarts and crisp passing will be the key. Overdribbling will be a problem. Especially with Josiah Turner starting at point guard, Arizona might get down early.

It won't be easy. Just another day in the life of Miller putting the pieces together.

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