Even in his second year as Arizona's men's basketball coach, Sean Miller still has some inheritance issues to deal with.
He must take his Wildcats to Nevada over Thanksgiving weekend to likely play Kansas in the title game of the Las Vegas Invitational, a tournament Arizona was scheduled into before Miller arrived. He has to shuttle Arizona off to Salt Lake City to meet BYU, which put a 30-point shellacking on the Wildcats last season at McKale Center.
Then there's that return game at North Carolina State and another return game at Rice, both from previously scheduled two-year deals, putting the Wildcats on the road four times in less than four weeks.
"It's a very competitive schedule," Miller said.
But Miller did have a chance to round out the 2010-11 schedule, which has not been officially released but is virtually finished, with several "guarantee" or "buy" games in which opponents are paid to visit McKale Center for a single game.
One of those matchups nearly burned Arizona last season, when the Wildcats needed a Nic Wise buzzer-beater to get past Lipscomb in overtime, and UA could have a challenge against Robert Morris this time, with the Colonials having won or shared the past three Northeast Conference titles.
"Their name won't be nearly as good as their team," Miller said. "They'll be an NCAA tournament team, a top-100 team. It's going to be a hard game, but nonetheless it's one if you win you have a chance to cement what you're trying to do in March."
Robert Morris will replace a planned game with Bryant University, which finished with a 346 RPI last season, in order to provide better competition and schedule strength.
Robert Morris finished last season with an RPI of 133, not far behind UA's 100, and Miller rounded out his "buy" game schedule with a plus-300 school (Idaho State) as well as 200-plus schools NAU and Cal State-Fullerton.
The Wildcats also will meet 200-plus RPI schools Bethune-Cookman and Santa Clara in the fixed-bracket Las Vegas Invitational, before they meet Kansas in the final game.
In 2011-12, the Wildcats are scheduled to return the San Diego State game, begin a two-year series with Florida on the road, play a Big 12/Pac-10 game to be named and will seek another home-and-home series, according to Ryan Reynolds, UA director of basketball operations.
On StarNet: Follow the Cats on the recruiting trail on Bruce Pascoe's blog at go.azstarnet.com/pascoe