A contrite Sean Miller pulled aside T.J. McConnell's dad recently to fess up about a recent encounter he had with his son.

"I just want you to know I got all over him," Miller said. "I was really hard on him."

Replied Tim McConnell: "I've been a whole lot worse. You don't have to worry about that."

It's the price you pay for being a coach's son. The Arizona point guard is one. The Arizona coach is, too. Those lessons learned are a big reason the Wildcats are playing Wisconsin on Saturday at the Honda Center for a berth in the Final Four.

McConnell is tough on himself. His struggles against Weber State in Arizona's NCAA Tournament opener prompted a postgame tongue-lashing from Miller and a self-imposed expectation to do better.

Has he ever. Since a zero-point, two-turnover performance against the Wildcats, McConnell has fueled UA's victories over Gonzaga and San Diego State, from smoothly running the floor to hitting 4 of 5 3-point baskets during those two games.

It is his effort, though, that stands out most, and he was at the center of the most important play of the victory over the Aztecs. With 2:44 remaining, McConnell knocked the ball from Xavier Thames and flew to the floor to chase it down. Instead of calling a timeout, he passed to Gabe York, who fed Nick Johnson for the easy layup.

The play accomplished myriad things. It removed the ball from the hands of the dangerous Thames, who could have hit a 3 to tie the score. It put momentum in the Wildcats' favor for the first time since the first half. And it triggered a remarkable comeback by Johnson. Before that basket, he had zero points. Two minutes and 44 seconds later, he had 15.

That's just who McConnell is. He is the son of a highly regarded high school coach in Western Pennsylvania who demanded a lot. That's who Miller was, too. Before Miller's dad, John, retired, he was the most decorated prep coach of the same region.

A contrite Sean Miller pulled aside T.J. McConnell's dad recently to fess up about a recent encounter he had with his son.

"I just want you to know I got all over him," Miller said. "I was really hard on him."

Replied Tim McConnell: "I've been a whole lot worse. You don't have to worry about that."

It's the price you pay for being a coach's son. The Arizona point guard is one. The Arizona coach is, too. Those lessons learned are a big reason the Wildcats are playing Wisconsin on Saturday at the Honda Center for a berth in the Final Four.

McConnell is tough on himself. His struggles against Weber State in Arizona's NCAA Tournament opener prompted a postgame tongue-lashing from Miller and a self-imposed expectation to do better.

Has he ever. Since a zero-point, two-turnover performance against the Wildcats, McConnell has fueled UA's victories over Gonzaga and San Diego State, from smoothly running the floor to hitting 4 of 5 3-point baskets during those two games.

It is his effort, though, that stands out most, and he was at the center of the most important play of the victory over the Aztecs. With 2:44 remaining, McConnell knocked the ball from Xavier Thames and flew to the floor to chase it down. Instead of calling a timeout, he passed to Gabe York, who fed Nick Johnson for the easy layup.

The play accomplished myriad things. It removed the ball from the hands of the dangerous Thames, who could have hit a 3 to tie the score. It put momentum in the Wildcats' favor for the first time since the first half. And it triggered a remarkable comeback by Johnson. Before that basket, he had zero points. Two minutes and 44 seconds later, he had 15.

That's just who McConnell is. He is the son of a highly regarded high school coach in Western Pennsylvania who demanded a lot. That's who Miller was, too. Before Miller's dad, John, retired, he was the most decorated prep coach of the same region.

The inside knowledge Miller has of what it's like to play for one's dad could have gone one of two ways with McConnell. He could be easier on the junior because he knew what he already had been through. Or he could be tougher because he knew McConnell could handle it.

He chose "B."

"I would definitely say he's harder on me because he knows how my dad coached me," he said. "I wouldn't want it to change how he coaches me. I like how hard he is on me."

Masochist.

It's the tough lessons that have made the 6-foot-1 point guard the player he is, the one Miller believes could log future minutes in the NBA with the right opportunity.

His court awareness is off the charts.

"He sees everything," York said. "He drives our offense."