And in about 20 minutes, anyone can see why there's such a huge difference in basketball culture between the two schools.
The show took viewers on a rare trip inside a Sean Miller-led practice, and damn am I glad I don't have to go through that every single day.
You could almost feel the intensity of the coaching staff and players coming out of the screen. It was crazy. We all know how organized Miller keeps everything, but man, that intensity.
"Fellas, I've never been more excited for anything in my life than this practice," coach said before they got going. "How you practice is how you play. Everything you do matters."
@azdesertswarm how does Sean Miller have any voice?! So. Much. Yelling.— kristabelle13 (@kristabelle13) January 29, 2015
@azdesertswarm Sean Miller yelling on the sideline during practice is fantastic. Making practices sound game-like for the players.— Andy Blaho (@AndyBlaho) January 29, 2015
That intensity in practice is a stark contrast to what is shown from ASU's practice. The first thing I noticed was the difference in practice facilities, and what Arizona's looks like compared to ASU's.
Then the actual practice started, and I feel like I would do okay at a Herb Sendek practice. It's also a nice look into why Arizona is so much more successful in basketball than ASU. People were just walking around the Devils' practice court. I'm guessing if that happened in Tucson, Miller would light the building on fire.
As far as the show went, three Arizona players had mini-features in Kaleb Tarczewski, Brandon Ashley, and Stanley Johnson. If that was a Miller decision, that just continues the idea of the team being greater than any one player. Although it was strange that there was no T.J. McConnell.
@azdesertswarm solid but no mention of TJ, which seems like a bit of a fail— Ryan Dunn (@RS_Dunn) January 29, 2015
Even though the ASU portion only had one featured player, Shaquielle McKissic, I thought it was done much better, and really got into the depth of his story, which is pretty incredible if you don't know it.
Two years ago when 'The Drive' featured ASU and Cal football, you could see why Todd Graham is so much more successful than Sonny Dykes. And I think this state of Arizona basketball version did exactly the same thing. Even in a short 30 minute show, anyone can see why the Wildcats continue to have high standards, and the Sun Devils continue to be a "team in transition".
The last segment got a little weird by going through every Pac-12 team's performance from last week, but I guess with this style, and featuring a different pair of schools each week, the first edition had to kind of set the table for the rest of the season.
Thank you Pac-12 Networks for taking us inside an Arizona practice, even just for a few minutes. Arizona will likely reappear on the show for the Pac-12 Tournament editions, which will be two episodes shown back-to-back on March 18th, the day before the NCAA Tournament starts.