Slow starts are starting to become an issue for the Arizona Wildcats even though head coach Sean Miller doesn’t think that it is much of a problem.
After Arizona’s close 73-66 win over Stanford last Thursday, Miller knew that the topic of slow starts would come up, so he came into his postgame press conference prepared with some stats concerning the Wildcats’ starts to their games. The coach reported that his team has been leading at the first media timeout in 15 of their 22 games this season. His reporting job was basically a way of letting the media members know that slow starts are not a trending issue for his team.
Miller can point to his team’s next game against Cal as an example of not getting off to a slow start as they ended up with a five-point lead at halftime. Their issue in the Cal game was a poor finish and lackluster defense but that’s another issue that the Wildcats will not like to make a trend.
Arizona is mostly a second half team but if they can can get off to better starts, both at home and on the road, they are very hard to beat. In three of their last five games, the Wildcats have found themselves down big at the beginning of the game, only to battle back the rest of the way. But getting off to better starts is easier said than done, so what does Miller plan on doing to doing to remedy the slow starts?
He addressed the issue this past week and stated that a different starting lineup could be in the works.
“We don’t have that confident look that we want. What I’m going to do is place five guys out there that have a confidence look,” Miller said during his postgame presser. “We’re going to address that over the next couple of days. Kevin Parrom, in particular, is a candidate to start.”
One other point of emphasis he will stress to his team if they get down early is to stay the course. They are a very resilient team, so staying the course has worked out for them more times than it has failed them, but they can’t always rely on strong finishes to bail them out. Case in point: the game against Cal.
As they head out on a three-game road trip, slow starts will just not cut it because trying to rally on the road is completely different than battling back at home.
David LaRose is a College Basketball writer for Rant Sports covering the Pac 12 and the University of Colorado. He’s also a member of the USBWA. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page.