Miller changes his mind.
(4/6/2009 1:05 PM Update)
One of the ideal fits to potentially become NC State’s head basketball coach if Coach Lowe were to head back to the NBA or not get the job done next season may be off the market. It appears Sean Miller has changed his mind and may in fact accept the Arizona position over a weekend when Lee “I have a contract and I know basketball” Fowler was not attending the Final Four in Detroit.
Sean Miller accepted the job as head coach of the Arizona Wildcats on Monday, one day after turning the position down, a source close to the negotiations told Yahoo! Sports.
Miller told Arizona he would remain at Xavier late last night, then asked for a chance to sleep on the decision. After going back and forth during the morning, a source said, he informed XU athletic director Mike Bobinski of his decision at noon ET.
MILLER EXPECTED TO SPURN ARIZONA (April 6, 2009 @ 12:40am)
I am the type of person who likes to have every possible option open to him when/if a decision needs to be made. If Coach Lowe struggles next season and it just so happens that the Wolfpack is in the market for a new basketball coach, I can’t help but proclaim that this is fantastic news knowing how highly Sean regards our job.
Sean Miller is expected to be the latest to spurn Arizona.
According to sources close to the situation, the Xavier head coach met with Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood in New Mexico earlier today and has decided that – barring a last-minute change of heart – he will remain with the Musketeers.
Miller, 40, has spent the last five seasons as the head coach of the Musketeers and has made four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances – including an Elite Eight last season and a Sweet 16 this past year.
Miller joins USC’s Tim Floyd to meet with Livengood in the past few days and turn down what was once considered an elite program.
Livengood was also unsuccessful luring big names such as Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon and Gonzaga’s Mark Few.
Miller makes approximately $800,000 at Xavier and, according to sources, was offered more than $2 million a year in Tucson.
Now the Wildcats will need to find someone willing to take the job. According to sources, Utah’s Jim Boylen might be next in line.
SOURCES: ARIZONA TARGETS MILLER (April 4, 2009 @ 11:56am)
This story is worth following for a lot of reasons. There is a lot of Miller-related commentary in this discussion from a couple of days ago.
This link has more:
What does make sense is Arizona’s newest target: Sean Miller.
While it may not appear to fit, he’s the ideal choice. In fact, long-term it could
1) He’s 40 years old and could see the long-term picture for rebuilding in Tucson. A guy like Tim Floyd doesn’t want to get his head beaten in for two years at this stage of his career. Miller would be more apt to deal with that given that he could vie for Final Fours and maybe a national title somewhere down the line. Miller isn’t a stop-gap like some of the previous candidates (Floyd, Tubby Smith).
2) Miller can recruit. He’s a grinder who can evaluate talent (see: Derrick Brown, B.J. Raymond, etc.) and connects well with kids.
3) He can coach. Four straight NCAA tournament appearances – including a Sweet 16 this season with an unenviable point guard situation.
4) He would go toe-to-toe and wouldn’t be intimidated by any of the big boys out west – and in particular, UCLA’s Ben Howland.
Miller played at Pittsburgh and hasn’t coached anywhere out west, but he’d need to hire the right staff to get it done in Tucson. Obviously, bringing on now-Kentucky assistant Josh Pastner as his associate head coach would be huge (Pastner works for one of Miller’s closest friends, John Calipari).
Miller still hasn’t decided whether he’s going to meet with Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood, but sources indicate he’s strongly considering it.