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Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Sean Miller stays away from COY chatter

By Diamond Leung

Arizona sent an e-mail to writers earlier this week with the subject line, "Making a Case for Sean Miller," asking the media to "please keep Arizona's Sean Miller in mind as a possibility for national Coach-of-the-Year honors."

Given the opportunity to say nice things about himself on Tuesday in reaction to the e-mail campaign, Miller passed and preferred to talk about his team instead.

"I'm just trying to improve where we are," Miller said. "The one thing is, we're far from finished. We have six important games left.

"Someone like Derrick Williams, he should really be talked about as an All-American candidate. Derrick's rock solid. He's consistent. Great players have a way of allowing their team to have great success."

As Miller and Williams have combined to help Arizona climb the national rankings, the 21-4 Wildcats have two upcoming games this week that serve as opportunities to show what they are as a program. Washington State and Pac-10 preseason favorite Washington are coming to the McKale Center.

Arizona lost to Washington on the road by 17 on Jan. 20 and hasn't lost since, reeling off six wins in a row to take first place and impressing Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar.

"They have a toughness about them that sets them apart from the rest of the league. They're well-coached. They're playing right now with a lot of confidence."

As the e-mail notes, the Wildcats are in both national polls for the first time in three seasons, and have the most wins at this point in the season since 2004-05.

Miller's first recruiting class includes the sophomores Williams, point guard Lamont Jones and swingman Kevin Parrom, and they have all improved this season.

That's what Miller wants to focus on rather than any personal recognition he might receive for a rebuilding job well done.