After No. 17 Arizona held off Oregon State 62-53 Thursday night, Sean Miller, Allonzo Trier and Rawle Alkins spoke to the media. Here's what they had to say.
Ugly, but the effort was pleasing
By Justin Spears / Arizona Daily Star
Arizona's first half against Oregon State could be compared to watching paint dry. The Wildcats shot 9 of 24 from the field and went 18 percent from 3-point range.
The Beavers led at halftime, 22-21, which was the lowest amount of points Arizona scored in a half all season. The point of emphasis for UA in the second half? Out with the boring and in with the intensity. The amped energy came strictly from defense, which led to transition baskets.
From the get-go, Arizona's defense looked night-and-day compared to the first half, but what really got the Cats over the hump was a steal caused by a halfcourt trap with Allonzo Trier and Parker Jackson-Cartwright, which led to a loose ball and Trier throwing down a dunk over OSU's Ethan Thompson.
The dunk party continued.
Two possessions later, Rawle Alkins picked up a steal and raced down the court for a reverse jam that received a Sports Center Top 10 play nominee.
There were some ugly spots in the second half for Arizona, but the defensive intensity and effort improved from its road loss against Colorado, which was what Sean Miller preached about.
Thursday's night game may have not been pleasing to watch at some points, Miller said the Cats took steps in the right direction. Miller, Alkins and Trier spoke in the postgame press conference after the game, watch what they had to say.
Miller's message to the team at halftime
Rawle Alkins on Sean Miller’s message to Arizona after a sluggish first half. pic.twitter.com/i3tSwgFuBU— The Wildcaster (@TheWildcaster) January 12, 2018
Playing against the zone
Rawle Alkins says the players heard a lot of criticism about Arizona struggling against zone defense and made it an emphasis in the offseason/practice. pic.twitter.com/IoMsie1Dsf— The Wildcaster (@TheWildcaster) January 12, 2018
More zone defense
Sean Miller’s evaluation of Arizona’s progress against the zone defense: pic.twitter.com/n2G1sfBP9u— The Wildcaster (@TheWildcaster) January 12, 2018
The last time Oregon played in McKale, Alkins was a recruit
Rawle Alkins on what he remembered the last time Oregon came into McKale Center: “When Arizona lost, it felt like the world ended.” Alkins was on his visit as a recruit when the Ducks snapped UA’s 49 home-game winning streak. pic.twitter.com/W38fnxWigO— The Wildcaster (@TheWildcaster) January 12, 2018
Baby steps for the Cats
Sean Miller says Arizona is still progressing, but the most important factor moving forward is bench play. pic.twitter.com/iEpkgCUDWA— The Wildcaster (@TheWildcaster) January 12, 2018
"Quiet 21" for Trier
Sean Miller says Allonzo Trier had a “quiet” 21-point performance and has done a solid job of letting games come to him. pic.twitter.com/hbjBoqscOj— The Wildcaster (@TheWildcaster) January 12, 2018