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Sean Miller has leverage coming out of his ears

Posted on: May 7, 2011 6:44 pm
Edited on: May 7, 2011 8:40 pm
Posted by Eric Angevine

As fan bases in Tucson, College Park, and several cities in-between wait nervously to hear any news of Sean Miller's rumored meeting with Maryland about the open coaching job there, the Arizona Daily Star has finally mentioned the infamous "L" word.


Miller can rant and rave like Gary Williams always did.As in, Tucson's a nice place, and the Wildcats have a pretty luminous basketball history. Could it be that Miller is just using the Maryland opening to wring some money out of his employers in tough economic times?

That sounds selfish, but read what the Daily Star's Bruce Pascoe has to say about it before you judge:

(Hoover High School head coach Ollie) Goulston said he believed Miller was trying to ensure his assistant coaches get raises, which, despite the Pac-12's incoming television money, is not an easy thing to do politically in Arizona these days.

Miller's planned contract extension, for one, was not brought before the Board of Regents in April possibly because of the controversy over tuition increases.

As of now, both remaining assistants, James Whitford and Book Richardson, make about $200,000 (they were hired for $190,000 in 2009) and the other staffers all make considerably less.

Looking out for his assistants is a noble goal. It's also (hey, we have to be realistic here), a perfect excuse to jet if his demands aren't met. This way, it's not a selfish decision if he leaves, he did it for his homeboys.

Goulston was apparently sought out by the newspaper because he coaches incoming big man Angelo Chol, and knows Miller in that capacity.  "I talked to him last night but I think there's all kind of reasons to stay at the end of the day," Goulston told Pascoe. "Sometimes these coaches use these situations for leverage."

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Realistically, this is a no-lose situation for Miller. If he gets what he wants from Arizona, he stays in a sunny paradise, riding a wave of good feeling based on this past season's NCAA tourney appearance, and a nice recruiting class coming in. He has the potential to rule the Pac-12 in relatively easy fashion, despite being one of the most recent hires in the conference.

If he gets what he wants from Maryland, he slides into one of the better jobs in the ACC, where he will be instantly loved for his fiery intensity, which will bring back (slightly less sweaty) visions of Gary Williams, who retired this past week after 22 years at the school.

Sean Miller is on top of the world right now. That's a mighty big plank, resting on a rock-solid fulcrum.


Photo: US Presswire

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2011 10:12 pm

Mea culpa

Beardown, you are most correct - I did not do my homework and did not remember Arizona's championship in 1996-97 in which Arizona beat South Alabama, College of Charleston, Kansas, Providence, North Carolina and Kentucky to take the prize.

I took it a bit further and compared Maryland and Arizona in some other factors. As penance I am providing that analysis below:

Win - Loss All Time:

Maryland 1382-942 (59,5%)
Arizona 1552 - 865 (64.2%)

Win - Loss Current League:

Maryland (ACC) 1059 - 648 (62.0%)
Arizona (Pac-10) 713-323 (68.8%)

Simple Rating System Last 32 Years (see sports-reference dot com/cbb):

Maryland 14.5
Arizona 15.8

End of Year AP Times Ranked All Time:

Maryland 21
Arizona 20

So I can see that Arizona's history is even longer than Maryland's history and not a reason for Sean Miller to change. Perhaps this was indeed part of his decision process. Perhaps he sees the relatively weak West Coast competition as easier to recruit. in any case he has now chosen to stay at Arizona (presumably getting the salaries for his assistants increased along with his own extension). I am committed to doing my homework better!

Since: Nov 23, 2009
Posted on: May 8, 2011 3:37 am

Sean Miller has leverage coming out of his ears

lee, you need to do your homework before posting.  Can you list what both programs have accomplished?  Then we can all see why your comments are either naive or wishfull thinking.  Anyway..he is staying at Zona.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2011 1:28 am

Sean Miller goes home

Tucson is a nice town. Arizona is a good basketball school. The current Arizona team, losing its stud, Derrick Williams, is still an attractive gig with some quality recruits coming in. They are also the defending Pac-10 champions and an elite eight team. But they are not home.

Home is the East Coast. Coach Miller has lived all his life there or the mid-west, until the past two years at Arizona. It is reported that his family will be the primary determinating factor. That sounds like they go home. Home to be near parents, grandparents, uncles and cousins. Home where you can catch a train and be there in a couple of hours. There is no place like home.

But wait, you say, 'Isn't the job the important factor?' Actually the job )Maryland) is arguably the third best in the best basketball league in the country. Maryland has what Arizona does not have - a championship history. Maryland has outstanding facilities. Is coach Miller up to competing with Duke, North Carolina, and the rest of the ACC? Does he want a greater challenge (and nearly all accept that it is a greater challenge)? Here is why I believe Sean Miller takes the job at Maryland - he is 43 this year. It is the time of greatest ambition for a man (hence also the mid-life crisis). He is not ready to settle. Maryland is among the top ten men's basketball jobs in college. He will choose to rise. He will choose to reach out for the brass ring.

Since: Feb 11, 2008
Posted on: May 8, 2011 12:33 am

Sean Miller has leverage coming out of his ears

As of 9:26 PM Arizona announces Sean Miller stays at Arizona,Details of the contract to be released later. HELL YA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: May 7, 2011 8:29 pm

Sean Miller has leverage coming out of his ears

Great article.  I know Arizona fans will be crushed if Miller leaves.  One correction - Bruce Pascoe writes for the Arizona Daily Star (the Tucson paper) not the Arizona Republic (the Phoenix paper) - which makes sense because the University of Arizona is in Tucson, not Phoenix.  It could be the Republic was merely quoting him.  Let's get our sources right. 

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