Sean Miller opened the doors at the Richard Jefferson Gym to media for about 40 minutes today and, once again, what was on display appeared to be ahead of schedule.
The Wildcats flew through fundamental drills early in the full-team, hour long workout (teams are allowed two total hours per week from Sept. 15 to Oct. 11, after which full practices begin).
Then they moved quickly and purposely through several other stations, with Miller offering most of the verbal instruction himself.
After the fundamental work, with perimeter players at one end of the floor and post players at another, the Wildcats had two lanes of players racing downcourt for layups. The goal was 160 made buckets between all of them in two minutes, and they passed with 166 (coming up short can result in a repeat effort).
Then the team broke into two parts to work on the motion offense. Brandon Ashley, Nick Johnson, Kevin Parrom, Grant Jerrett and Mark Lyons made up one team and Jordin Mayes, Kaleb Tarczewski, Gabe York, Angelo Chol and Solomon Hill made up the other. Players were not defended but instructed to move within the motion.
“You’re trying to get in the flow,” Miller told them. “You can’t make a mistake. When in doubt, cut.”
The teams then practiced coming off screens and went through a close-out drill before media were escorted out of the R.J.
Speaking briefly beforehand, Miller said the team’s extra summer workouts, now allowed by the NCAA, and their pre-Bahamas practices helped get them ahead of schedule.
“We’re working on almost an abbreviated version of what the practices will be once Oct. 12 occurs,” Miller said. “This fall we’ve had an advantage. We’re a little further ahead than we otherwise would be and because of that these types of practices are more advanced. The things that we’re working on are things that traditionally you don’t get to do this time of the year, which is a real positive for us.
“For us it’s about implementing our own system and getting good at the things we can control, the things that we do, day in and day out, game in and game out. From a defensive perspective it's the fundamentals of our man-to-man defense and from a team perspective it’s the team things that we need to be successful.”