Following a frustrating win over Cal State Fullerton, and a horrible showing in a loss to the BYU Cougars, Arizona Wildcats head coach Sean Miller vented to the media. "We didn't play well against Cal State Fullerton and there's always players and people who say, 'Well, maybe that's the coach just trying to be hard on a team after another win.' But you can win a game and not play well and set yourself up for failure. You can lose a game and play really well and really hard and set yourself up for future success. To me, the week leading up to the BYU game we didn't handle post-Oklahoma very well. Whether it be the way we prepared for Cal State Fullerton, we got probably what we deserved. That's not to diminish the credit that BYU deserves. I think you'll find as you watch them like you did last year they won 30 games, they are one of the best teams in the country and certainly on offense."
Coach Miller even went so far as to say that the Wildcats were 'frightened' against BYU. Fortunately, amid the frustration, anger, and reports that there are 'no starters' any longer, a bit of a silver lining is appearing. Coach Miller can use the horrific showing against BYU to motivate his team, and get into their heads whenever they start to get lazy or cocky. When asked if the team was anxious to get back to practice after the BYU game, coach Miller had this to say. "Yep. We've had a good attitude going back to practice. That's not the objective, though -- like don't show up at the practice ready, show up at the game ready. There's no, `It's ok, we lost to BYU.' It's not ok. There's nothing about the trip that's ok. How we played, how individuals played, our team defense being down by that deficit is not OK, and being able to address it and move forward it's not always an easy task. I don't necessarily walk around here right now as the coach not bringing up BYU. It has to be brought up. And I think that the more its brought up and the more we're positive in our approach to solving problems, the more it's going to be better moving forward."
Sure coach, it's a positive approach to solving problems, not an effective way to get into the heads and under the skin of your players. Is there anyone else out there that thinks some of these NCAA coaches are getting tips from the psych professors? Well, you won't hear any complaints from me. This is exactly what I was hoping for after the BYU mess. Hold this over their heads, coach. Don't let them get cocky or complacent, ever. Use this to motivate them to work harder and get better every week.
Bear Down, Arizona! Beat the Lumberjacks!