Lack of toughness bothers Miller

2011-01-03T02:42:00Z 2011-01-03T02:57:32Z Lack of toughness bothers MillerBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star

Here's the official boxscore and play by play.

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CORVALLIS, Ore. - Everything could have been fixed for the Wildcats if Derrick Williams had hit anything close to his usual 82 percent from the free throw line against Oregon State.

But Williams went 3-for-10 and thus exposed what Sean Miller found a basic lack of toughness.

The Wildcats didn't get to the free-throw line as much as the Beavers and were unable to grab more than five offensive boards, two facts that gnawed away at Miller as much as anything.

"If we shot the ball better from the line the outcome could have been different and probably would have been," Miller said. "But that's not the whole story. I think 17 points that Oregon State scored off the second shots talks about how they're a very aggressive, athletic, deep team.

"One of the things we've talked about getting better at is offensive rebounding. And right now, we're not getting any productivity on second shots."

UA had just two points total on second shots, and only two offensive rebounds from the starting lineup. Jamelle Horne, who lost his starting job in part because he didn't offensive rebound well, had two offensive boards in 16 minutes Sunday.

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Meanwhile, the guy who had the most impressive second shot of the night was OSU's Jared Cunningham, who may have opened a few eyes with his athleticism. Cunningham soared through the lane to pick up a rebound off Joe Burton's miss and slam it in with such force that he fell backward and skidded down the baseline on his rear all the way to the Beaver bench.

Cunningham's slam can be found on the YouTube video embedded in this Oregonian story and the Corvallis Gazette-Times story also discusses the impact of Cunningham's slam.

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OSU coach Craig Robinson noted something different in UA's standout forward/center.

"Derrick Williams is taller than he was last year," Robinson said. "I'm not kidding. Last year when they were talking about him being a pro, and they said `Well, he's undersized,' he's no longer undersized. He looks 6-9 now. That's a bigger, faster team than they were last year."

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Here's our coverage from the game: The game story, some notes through the first half, and a photo gallery.

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UA will travel home this afternoon and have two days to prepare for Stanford, a day less than usual because of the Sunday night game and travel home.

"It's hard," Miller said. "That's why Sunday games don't favor the team that plays on Sunday especially if it's a team that left on Wednesday morning."

 

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