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Cats On the Prowl
Phil Taylor
March 01, 1993
By defeating Cincinnati, Arizona proved that not all Western teams are wimps
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March 01, 1993

Cats On The Prowl

By defeating Cincinnati, Arizona proved that not all Western teams are wimps

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It's no coincidence that Mills has turned in some of his finest performances this season when several NBA scouts were in attendance. His preparations for a pro career became serious last summer, when he spent much of his time in his hometown of Los Angeles playing in pickup games with current and former pros, including Magic Johnson and the New York Knicks' Doc Rivers. "I was more comfortable playing with those guys than I am in the college game," says Mills. "I have this feeling that when I get to the next level, it's going to be, like, home."

Mills, who can play off guard or either forward spot, is the most versatile player on a remarkably versatile team. Against Cincinnati's full-court press, Olson often went to a smaller unit, taking 7-footer Ed Stokes out and going with three guards, Damon Stoudamire, Khalid Reeves and Reggie Geary. But the maneuverability of his players may be less important to Olson than their likability. It's no secret that his relationship with Rooks and some other former players was occasionally strained. "I think Lute was frustrated the last couple of years," says assistant coach Jim Rosborough. "Some guys were inclined to do things their own way."

Sunday's victory undoubtedly would have been more impressive had it occurred on a neutral court rather than on a home-away-from-home floor in an arena full of Arizona fans. How the Wildcats will fare against topflight teams in the NCAA tournament is hard to say. One thing is certain: They can't do any worse than last season's Wildcats, who fell to East Tennessee State in the first round.

For now, though, Arizona can live with the doubts. The Wildcats may not have all the answers yet, but at least they're starting to hear some different questions.

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