Arizona Wildcats basketball: Miller vows to sub more

2014-02-17T14:59:00Z 2014-02-17T17:49:33Z Arizona Wildcats basketball: Miller vows to sub moreBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Turns out there was one other stat Sean Miller didn't feel good about after the Wildcats lost at ASU on Friday.

That would be 10, the number of minutes all five starters played during the two overtime periods.

Miller didn't sub at all during either the first or second overtime period and said he found his team physically affected as a result. He offered his thoughts during his weekly news conference today at McKale:

"We don't have a crystal ball that you’re going to go to double overtime," Miller said. But "it's difficult to start playing players in an overtime period when they have been sitting there for 45 minutes to an hour of real time. It’s not fair to ask them to come into that situation.

"But I think early on in games throughout the first half, playing our bench is key because once you decide not to play it you have players playing not to make mistakes --`I don’t want to foul' -- so all of a sudden your effort level isn’t as high. Transition opportunities aren’t as plentiful and one reason is guys aren’t quite as fresh as they were.

"So for us to win the most games this year I think our biggest upside lies in trusting Jordan Mayes, Elliott Pitts, Gabe York a little bit more, throwing Matt Korcheck in there and taking some minutes away from the players that are playing.

"I think it will help them so that they don’t have to take the burden of every possession. Because something’s gonna break, keeping in mind the types of gmes wer’e in. We're not up 20 or down 20 so many times through our 25 games. We've been in one-possession games, hard-fought games, we’re always dealing with an incredible away crowd, so there’s a lot that can wear on you as a player.

"It’s getting some of our key players more rest. Unfortunately, that’s what I learned at ASU. And if we would have won that game we as a staff would have left that way feeling as I feel right now."

Miller indicated he was not concerned that the Pac-12 said officials missed a technical call against ASU's Jahii Carson for hanging on the rim after Friday's game.

When asked if he received a response from the league, here's what Miller said:

"No, and the thing about that game is Arizona State deserves full credit for beating us. They played an excellent game and an excellent defensive game. Jordan Bachynski, anytime a player can get eight shot blocks, and one of them is the game winner, you have to give credit where credit is due and he has really emerged as one of the premier post players in the country and a real anchor to their defense.

"The game was filled with moments where each team could have won or lost and we were on the wrong end of that. But we lost the game and ... really the last play or circumstances beyond the shot block it’s irrelevant."

In response to another question of how he felt about the Pac-12's statement, Miller said:

"In my mind when I went and shook Herb’s hand, the game was over. And I don’t want to win or lose on something that doesn’t have any relevance to the actual play."

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