During the Arizona Wildcats' home loss to the Oregon Ducks Thursday night, Sean Miller got into a shouting match with Kaleb Tarczewski after the center had a few mental lapses on the defensive end. Miller got in Tarczewski's face and barked a few expletives after Tarczewski appeared to talk back to his head coach.
The spectacle, which happened in front of over 14,000 fans and a national television audience, caused quite a stir among the college basketball community, and a strong disagreement among our staff here at Arizona Desert Swarm. One of our writers thought Miller's actions were over-the-top and unnecessary, while another believed they're just part of the game and nothing to be worried about.
But did Miller have any regrets about his outburst?
"No," he said Saturday after the team's win against Oregon State. "I don’t care what it’s perceived like. I have a great relationship with Kaleb, and he has a great relationship with me and unfortunately in today’s world... it’s trying to catch you, trying to catch coaches. 'What can I do to get this guy fired? Is there anything I can do to catch him behind the scenes'?"
In Miller's mind, he's just doing his job.
"I’m myself. I’m the coach and I’m going to push our team to the best that we can be," he said. "I’m going to push our players to be the best they can be. I’m going to love them, but once in a while they’re not going to like the things that you do."
He likened it to being a parent.
"'Dad can I go out tonight and come back at midnight?' Yes. They come back at 1 a.m. Next weekend [they ask], 'dad can I go out tonight and come back at midnight?' No," he said.
"They don’t like it, but you have to follow the rules. When you’re a coach and you’re in a program like ours, you’re going to be corrected, you’re going to be coached and I think part of it is to be receptive to that. That’s what’s going to bring out the best not only in our team, but also the players."
To no surprise, Miller, who picked up his 300th career win Saturday, isn't going to change his coaching style because of a few dissenting opinions.
"The standards are the standards," he said. "For me, it’s not about anything other than what do we do to become the best team we can be, and to bring out the best in him."
"All that other stuff is nothing but noise. I can’t worry about that."