Miller changes his mind and accepts Arizona job?(updated 1:25pm)

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.

Arizona has zeroed in on Sean Miller.

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

Here’s why:

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.

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08-09 Basketball General

193 Responses to Miller changes his mind and accepts Arizona job?(updated 1:25pm)

  1. old13 04/06/2009 at 4:43 PM #

    Harris eventually spurned you-know-who in AZ because his family is in Raleigh. Could that still be a factor?

  2. fd.234 04/06/2009 at 4:45 PM #

    ASU has been to the NCAA’s 25 straight years. I wonder
    if the fans will give him 4-5 years before he returns to the dance so he can get his own players there?

    I posted that at another site and it was pomptly deleted.
    I thought it was a fair question. But I guess it was a too sensitive question. IMHO a coach needs to coach the players he has or get his own players the next year. Using that as a crutch for 4-5 years is a bit much.

  3. fd.234 04/06/2009 at 4:53 PM #

    If Harris leaves, it could be an indication of what he thinks Sid’s chances of success are. Hopefully he stays. And Mr “I Know BB” will give him what it takes to stay.

  4. Bubba 04/06/2009 at 4:54 PM #

    I think its a huge factor old13

  5. NeverGiveUp 04/06/2009 at 4:56 PM #

    Harris stayed because Simon was at Elon, correct?

  6. pakfanistan 04/06/2009 at 5:01 PM #

    Harris came back because his son was playing ball at Elon if I remember correctly. It has been 3 years, I suspect his son has graduated, but I haven’t checked the roster.

    You mean his son Simon Harris who transferred from Elon to NC State and was a senior on this years team?

  7. Wolfman 9806 04/06/2009 at 5:55 PM #

    “We don’t have an opening for a head coach in either football or basketball. Period. We won’t have for many years or until either decides to retire.”

    What are you smoking! Sid’s lucky to be getting one more year. By the end of next season, we won’t be able to beat Millbrook and this whole experiment will have ended badly. Our program will be set-back to the stone age.

  8. smile102 04/06/2009 at 6:39 PM #

    Harris knows what we know. It would be reasonable for him to jump ship while it is only teetering rather than wait to be fired next yr.

  9. ClassOf95 04/06/2009 at 8:28 PM #

    First, we have a coach. Second, why on Earth would Sean Miller want to come to a school who’s fans treated his old boss and mentor so badly? I would think much less of him if he did come. Thirdly, it’s about time my fellow Pack fans started accepting the fact that being men’s basketball coach at NC State is not the world’s greatest job some of you portray it as. We won in the 50s, some in the 60s, a national championship in ’74 (after getting busted for cheating,) some in the 80s, and nothing since. Nothing. Nothing in 20 years. There are kids with degrees from our school who weren’t born the last time we won the ACC Tournament. And yes we have an enthusiastic fan-base and great facilities, and it’s the ACC, … but our basketball coach walks into a situation where 2 hall of famers running 2 of the most successful programs in history are 20 miles down the road and after 3 years many (if not most) fans have turned on a fellow alumnus and school hero. I still believe the further from Raleigh you go, the more highly regarded Herb was. He ran a clean program, he got good recruits, he consistently went to the tournament. Historically this is more than all but a handfull of schools can claim so when other coaches look at State, I can’t help but think they see a bunch of ungrateful lunatic fans with hair-triggers and unrealistic expectations. Who wants to step into that situation? Like a good friend of mine said: “We are the Oakland Raider fans of college basketball. Used to be good, now we’re not, and everybody thinks we’re psycho.”

  10. howlie 04/06/2009 at 8:52 PM #


  11. GAWolf 04/06/2009 at 10:23 PM #

    Classof95 is either extremely brave, dumb or has never ever read SFN.

    Good luck my friend. Regardless of where you fall in that 3 option spectrum, you’ve got a tough row to hoe.

  12. GAWolf 04/06/2009 at 10:24 PM #

    i love how when Hansbrahski does the slide-flop and gets a call they never ever show the replay. I’m not saying some of the calls aren’t legit, but why risk the ridicule by showing the replay?

    Carolina: The only team out there who can boringly walk to a national championship.

  13. GAWolf 04/06/2009 at 10:27 PM #

    The question on Harris becomes: If he bolts, do we lose Harrow and Brown? Even if we don’t physically lose them (let them out of their LOI’s) do we mentally lose them because they are “stuck” coming here?

    I certainly hope not. I think both will be great Wolfpackers regardless of how this thing unfolds. Either way, I think they can do nothing but contribute to the rebuilding of a once very proud program.

  14. Afterglow 04/07/2009 at 7:30 AM #

    Our “ungrateful lunatic fans with hair-triggers and unrealistic expectations” perhaps are the ones who experienced some of that history that you described and I dare say some of that energy is residual to those that maybe haven’t experienced it but know darn well what this University is capable of. Those expectations; ones that aren’t in by belief unrealistic, those fans, are some of the things that carry programs to that pinnacle of success. I think Jimmy V had a saying that went something like-if you can’t dream, you’re dead.<<<I would hope that a coach would actually walk into this program embracing our enthusiasm much the same way TOB has and V did, with dreams and visions as grand as winning a national title. That my friend-is not unrealistic, if you believe it.

  15. WolftownVA81 04/07/2009 at 11:29 AM #

    Our leadership apparently does not think we are capable of winning a National Championship or even competing with our neighbors. Or perhaps they think that stating we can will put too much pressure on themselves to perform. In either case, we need to clean house and get rid of these losers with their defeatest attitudes. I want NCSU to excell in all areas including athletics. Please BOT, make a change and bring us a visionary who will make the entire athletics department performance based. The one exception to this comment is Coach O’Brian. Thanks for being a beacon of hope.

  16. Greywolf 04/07/2009 at 2:03 PM #

    “a national championship in ‘74 (after getting busted for cheating,”
    Minor point but we were not “busted for cheating,” we were busted for rules violation which happens all the time. It’s just that NCSU got an over the top penalty for a minor violation. An already committed recruit playing a pick-up game along with an assistant bb coach turned in by a jealous UNX coach. In context this is nowhere near a violation in spirit of the rules as UNX graduates doing the same thing and talking to uncommitted recruits about how great it is to play for UNX. Nor is it any more “cheating” than the UNX coach observing a pick-up game with a presidential candidate.

  17. ClassOf95 04/07/2009 at 5:22 PM #

    Greywolf – agreed. But the fact that we are talking about almost 40 year old recruiting violations involving David Thompson (and yes I was the one that brought it up) is a huge part of the problem. We are living on past glories that are so far removed from where we are now, they are almost unattached in my opinion. I think NC State should not mention 1974 or 1983 or Valvano or Coach Case again until we can find a way to win in the here and now. Hearing about those things from days gone by reminds me of Carolina rolling out Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice stories in the midst of a bad football season. It’s pathetic. I think that many State fans have this opinion that we are a great basketball school currently in the hands of bad leaders and coaches. I think we of course want to be great but we are starting at the bottom. Forget any sense of tradition. Forget any thought that the basketball gods owe us anything. We are a mediocre team in a great league with dominant neighbors down the road. Those are the facts today and those were the facts before Lee Fowler and before Sidney Lowe and before Herb Sendek. Those have been the facts for 20+ years. Further, I think we are kidding ourselves if we think there are lines of ACC caliber coaches salivating at the thought of coming to State. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are some but this “ask and ye shall receive” notion that many State fans have is delusional. Why would a coach want to come here with evidence that within the first 3 years, a large percentage of the fanbase will be calling for his head if he cannot immediately reach and sustain a level of success? The thing that got me going was the reference in this article that we should be looking at Sean Miller to be our coach. Coach Lowe has only been here 3 years. Do I think he will ultimately be successful? I have large doubts. But our school made an agreement with him to be our coach and he deserves a fair chance. And 3 years is hardly a fair chance. The only reason to replace a coach so soon would be because of rules violations, conduct detrimental to the school, or the players started getting into trouble (academic or otherwise.) If we want to build a successful program going forward the bitching and moaning and sense of entitlement has to stop. We have to be supportive and honor commitments. If you want to voice concerns over the direction of the athletic program, send a letter to the Wolfpack Club and “cc” Oblinger on why your yearly donation is being greatly cut or cancelled altogether. Don’t get on here and blast a coach who has been in the ACC Championship game 33% of the time since his arrival.

  18. bradleyb123 04/08/2009 at 12:44 PM #

    “The thing that got me going was the reference in this article that we should be looking at Sean Miller to be our coach. Coach Lowe has only been here 3 years. Do I think he will ultimately be successful? I have large doubts. But our school made an agreement with him to be our coach and he deserves a fair chance.”

    ClassOf95, I think the thinking on Sean Miller was we were glad that he was staying put IN CASE we decided to let Sid go after NEXT year, not right now. I think we all know and accept that Sid is getting at least a fourth year, and most of us are fine with that. But THIS year, Sid’s fourth year, is put up or shut up time. This will be his own players. If we don’t see any progress, and there’s a good chance we won’t, good chance Sid will be gone. In the event that happens, I think we were hoping Sean Miller would be available to step in and take the reigns. But now, that’s not an option with him going to Arizona.

    Of course some of the lunatic fringe want Sid gone NOW, but those hoping for Sean Miller were mostly (IMO) talking about AFTER Sid’s FOURTH year.

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