Cats look to rebound against Devils | Arizona Wildcats basketball
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Arizona Wildcats basketball

Cats look to rebound against Devils

UA can tie ASU in Pac-10 standings with a win

When we last saw the Arizona men's basketball team, the Wildcats were falling apart against Oregon State at McKale Center on Feb. 13.

First-year coach Sean Miller was very blunt after the 63-55 home loss.

"From a coaching standpoint, this is probably the worst I've ever felt,'' Miller said at the postgame news conference. "It's our job to get our guys ready and make sure everyone is on the same page. Today, that didn't happen. It's a disappointing as can be, especially from an athletic perspective."

UA is in a tie for fourth in the Pacific-10 Conference at 7-6, 13-12 overall, heading into its 3:30 p.m. Sunday at McKale against second-place Arizona State (8-5, 18-8).

Miller said Tuesday during the Pacific-10 Conference teleconference that he was disappointed in the defensive effort against Oregon State's patient offense.

"You have to be disciplined," Miller said. "You have to have some toughness to you. You have to understand that the game is going to be played a little differently. You're going to have the wherewithal to stay with it for 40 minutes, knowing that a lot of things are going to happen at the end of the clock. My team caved in in a big way in that area.

"When you have the ball on offense, it almost becomes a time of possession, where you know, at times, you are baited into taking 3s. If you take quick shots, and then you go back on defense, your defense starts to work against your offense and then your offense starts to work against your defense. It becomes kind of a frustrating experience."

The Wildcats beat Arizona 77-58 in Tempe on Jan. 23, but the Sun Devils were without injured guard Jamelle McMillan. Arizona State is 4-2 since the loss to UA.

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"But its a different time now," Miller said during Tuesday's teleconference. "Jamelle McMillan I think adds a lot to Arizona State's team. He didn't play in our first game. They improved. We improved. The dynamics of teams change in a week, let alone a few (weeks). We have to obviously play at a very high level on Sunday to have a chance to be able to beat Arizona State."

Arizona State coach Herb Sendek said during the teleconference that in losses to UA and Washington that "we really had it taken to us.

"I expect that we will have to be at our very best to be competitive,'' he said. "I mean, at our place, Arizona is vastly superior, and we are going to have to be much better to be able to compete."

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Arizona State at Arizona

  • When: 3:30 p.m. Sunday
  • Where: McKale Center
  • TV: Fox Sports Net Arizona
  • Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM, 990-AM (Spanish)

Pacific-10 Conference standings

Ore. St.671213
Wash. St.591511

On the Web

Pac-10 telconference: