"I'm happy for him that he has put all of that behind him," Marvin Menzies said. "It's a great opportunity for him, whether or not he plays (Tuesday) or not. Having experienced guys in front of him who are playing well is good for him."
Some interesting Sean Miller comments follow, but first Miller said that we won't see freshman center Sidiki Johnson, who is now focused on academics after returning from suspension.
Miller said that junior wing Kevin Parrom is currently a shade of his former self after coming back from injury. Miller said the Wildcats haven't had consistent play from the center position, which should sound familiar for Aggies fans. Miller wants to play 9 or 10 players, so confidence level of bench players is something to keep an eye on, especially since it seems like freshman guard Josiah Turner is starting to work himself back into good graces. I think that guard play is interesting to watch on Tuesday and is probably Arizona's strength. Kyle Fogg is a a big (6-3) senior guard and Nick Johnson has averaged 10 per game and shoots 43 percent from 3 as a freshman and Jordan Mays has started five of the six games and senior Brendon Lavender is the team's best shooter but has only played 8 minutes per game so far.
One thing is for certain. Miller will not start the same lineup as he did in a 61-57 home loss to San Diego State last week. Miller said that the combination of Jesse Perry, Solomon Hill, Kyryl Natyazko, Mayes and Fogg will start against at Arizona.
Miller on the Aggies
"I think they are a terrific offensive rebounding team and the best offensive rebounding team we have faced so far. They play with tremendous depth and energy defensively. Energy and taking care of the ball is important. I think it's going to be a great challenge and I think they are a team that will be in the postseason."
I think the Wildcats will be fine. But they have players who are trying to figure out roles early on.
"Derrick Williams plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves now. Tuesday is going to be a really hard game for us."
I asked Miller, whose teams have been known for playing man to man, how he approaches playing teams like the Aggies, who aren't a great shooting team.
"Everybody thinks that playing zone solves the problem against a team that doesn't shoot well. One thing the zone exposes is second shots. It backfires if you are giving up high quality second shots."
Miller said his team isn't on par with his past teams defensively at this point.
"We have always gotten better year by year on the defensive end. We're not very good in any of those areas right now."
Here are two additional things that I'm watching on Tuesday.
Wendell McKines vs. Solomon Hill
Arizona coach Sean Miller believes Aggies power forward Wendell McKines could start for a Pac-12 team, including his own.
But McKines is an Aggie and his numbers reflect the 6-foot-6 Hill.
Hill leads the Wildcats with 12 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. McKines leads the Aggies with 17 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Both players are capable of hitting the perimeter shot but don’t rely on it as McKines is shooting 37 percent from 3-point range and Hill is a 25 percent shooter.
Key to watch
NMSU is outrebounding its opposition by 8.3 boards per game. The Aggies are tied for 14th nationally with 16 offensive rebounds per game. McKines is pulling down 3.5 offensive rebounds per game.
“I think they are a terrific offensive rebounding team,” Miller said. “They are the best that we have faced yet.”