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Arizona basketball: Fouls, Turnovers key to beating Gonzaga

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Miller’s weekly press conference took place on Thursday as the Arizona Wildcats make final preparations for the upcoming tilt against Gonzaga. According to Coach Miller, the keys to an Arizona victory are simple, yet difficult:

1) Fouls - this Wildcats team has had a lot of what Sean Miller called ‘silly fouls’. The high number of fouls is a result of poor defensive position and rotation. Also, a lack of defensive pressure on the ball carrier is putting more pressure on the rest of the team defensively. As a result, the Wildcats have been hamstrung by foul trouble as well as putting the other team at the charity stripe.

2) Turnovers - the Wildcats are turning the ball over at too high of a rate. Against Providence, Arizona had 21 turnovers. As Coach Miller put it to his team after the loss, that’s like going 0-21 from the field, but worse. Worse because the turnovers often lead to quick points for the other team.

Gonzaga will no doubt be a tough test. Coach Miller knows that an Arizona win will not come about through game planning or a gimmicky defense. It’s back to basics for these Wildcats, a team that can defeat Gonzaga if they have quality offensive possessions and can keep their best players on the floor.

Other interesting tidbits from the press conference:

* The Wildcats as a team have had seven sprained ankles this season. According to Miller, the team hadn’t had seven sprained ankles in the previous six years.

* Chance Comanche will play every game from this point forward. He needs to produce, play more, get better and learn.

* Dusan Ristic’s rebounding production per minute is impressive. Coach Miller is excited to see his total rebounding numbers as his playing time increases.