Pac-12 basketball And The U of A

There is a very interesting mix of basketball coaching developing at the University of Arizona. Sean Miller has had a fine run of head coaching following the magic man, Lute Olson’s, time at the University of Arizona. Miller has repeatedly taken his teams to the big dance along with winning numerous Pac-12 championships. But he has yet to make it to the final four.

During the last 20 plus years Lorenzo Romar has had some great BB teams at the University of Washington, but over the last five years his teams have sagged badly, so he was let go. Now Miller has invited Romar to be his assistant head coach at Arizona and Romar has accepted.

Miller’s strength as a coach is defense and Romar’s strength is up-tempo offense, which sound like a perfect blend of coaching. But is it? There is always a tradeoff when maximizing either defense or offense. For instance Miller’s brand of basketball sacrifices tempo to gain rebounding advantage while Romar sacrifices rebounding to gain tempo. Thus one might conclude that a perfect blending of the two coaching styles might, alas, produce a cancelling blend of mediocrity.

Of course no one knows exactly how Miller intends to use Romar’s experience, but it is hard to see how the opposite instincts of these two high-powered coaches can escape a clashing mess.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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