Notebook: On Miller's two milestones, the Brandons and Maui look-ahead

Madeleine Viceconte | The Daily Wildcat

Guard Brandon Williams (2) jumps to score another two points for Arizona during the game against UTEP on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at Mckale Center. The final score was 79-46 with an Arizona win. 

The Brandons ball again

Brandon Williams and Brandon Randolph nearly outscored UTEP by themselves. Both were the top scorers for Arizona on the night, each with 21 points – a career-high for the freshman Williams. 

Maybe most impressive, Williams still has a perfect assist-turnover ratio at 14:0.

“For a freshman, for him to play three games and not have a turnover is astonishing. That says a lot about his intelligence as a player,” Miller said.

Guard Brandon Randolph (5) jumps to shoot the ball during the game against UTEP on Wednesday, Nov. 14 in Mckale Center. Arizona won 79-46.

As for Randolph, he has been Arizona’s most consistent scorer so far, eclipsing the 20-point mark in two of the first three games.

250 wins and (almost) 50 years of age

Head coach Sean Miller won his 250th game as the coach at Arizona. Miller reached the milestone at one college faster than Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Villanova’s Jay Wright.

"I have been very fortunate that I have had the opportunity to have three things. One, in my time at Arizona, we’ve had unreal support of our basketball program all the way from the top down,” Miller said. 

Miller also is close to reaching another milestone, albeit a more personal one: his 50th birthday which is on Nov. 17. Before the start of the third quarter, a video was played on the McKale Center scoreboard with former players including Aaron Gordon, Deandre Ayton, Nick Johnson and TJ McConnell all wishing Miller a happy birthday. 

Then during the second half, the ZonaZoo burst out singing “Happy Birthday” to the veteran coach, since they won’t be able to spend it with him on Saturday.

Maui next

Arizona won its first three games of the season by an average of 28 points. Now things get tough. 

Next week’s Maui Invitational awaits nearly 3,000 miles away where the Wildcats face their first true test of the young season. Three games, three days, all against stiff competition.

Forward Ira Lee (11) jumps to dunk the ball during the game against UTEP on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at Mckale Center. The game resulted in a Wildcat win with a score of 79-46.

Arizona’s first opponent is Iowa State, the 25th ranked team according to Should Arizona win that game, the No. 3 ranked team in Gonzaga would likely stand in UA’s path.

Miller said that he is looking forward to seeing how his team handles the competitive stretch.

“You’re getting young players a lot of great experience away from home. But the competition is the highest level that I’ve seen in a tournament,” Miller said.

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