Tag:Sean Miller
Posted on: March 26, 2011 11:43 pm
Edited on: March 27, 2011 11:50 am
 

Where will Arizona be this time next year?

Kyle Fogg Posted by Eric Angevine

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- So, Arizona lost in the Elite Eight on a very close final score of 65-63. We're all assuming Derrick Williams will declare for the NBA draft, and that he probably can't tell us with any certainty what he's going to do just hours after a loss. But he should go: he'd be wasting his time in college next year. He's ready now. I know from hearing Arizona coach Sean Miller talk this weekend that he expects Williams to depart.

We saw some real improvement from Williams' teammates over the course of the tournament, so even if Williams does leave, Arizona should be in good shape. Jesse Perry was rugged on the interior, scoring 14 points and hauling down seven boards, much of that production coming when Williams was saddled with foul trouble in the first half. He'll be a senior next year.

MoMo Jones, a sophomore, has shown real leadership despite his youth. If he can score a bit more, he'll become more valuable to the team. He may very well be capable of just that, but his job this year was to pass to Williams whenever possible. Kyle Fogg (right) has shown a deadly shooting stroke, and he and Kevin Parrom did well guarding college basketball's most dangerous player: Kemba Walker. 6-foot-7 Solomon Hill has shown a knack for rebounding.

The real plus is the incoming class of freshmen. Sean Miller landed an excellent crop for next year, and getting the Elite Eight experience for his sophomores and juniors will allow the new guys to fit in gradually.

Let's take a look:

Nick Johnson, 6-3 SG: Like the current players Miller puts on the court, Johnson is a transition threat with athletic ability. He can throw down a dunk when called for, which was a hallmark of the Wildcats' run to the West region final. He'll provide a slasher to go with Fogg's shooter.

Josiah Turner, 6-3 PG: Turner looks like a perfect complement to MoMo. He's known as a scoring combo guard with point guard skills. He can pass or score, and he has the strength to take the ball inside. More strength in the guard corps for Sean Miller.

Angelo Chol, 6-8 PF: Chol is one of the gems of Miller's class of 2011. He is long and athletic, and can shoot. He's not the bulkiest guy around, but a year in the weight room at Arizona should fix that. Chol has the instincts of a shot-blocker, which could come in very handy for next year's version of the Wildcats.

Sidiki Johnson, 6-8 PF: Johnson is a bit heavier than Chol, so he's good for the inside muscle jobs. Still, like everyone Miller is recruiting, he can run the floor. Get used to track meets in Tucson. Johnson gets the offensive putbacks, which could make him a very dangerous weapon with his ability to move.

Each of these guys is a top talent at his position. And let's remember that Miller has taken players that weren't that highly rated and made them his kind of guys. If he starts out with top talent next season, there's no reason he can't take the 'Cats back to the Elite Eight. He'll have to figure out which of these guys is the main scoring option, but he'll have time for that. And now that he's announced the return of the Arizona of legend, expect more top high school players to commit to his program.

Photo: US Presswire

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Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:37 am
 

Coach Speak: targets for Oklahoma and NC State

Will Doc Sadler stay in the Big 12?

Posted by Eric Angevine

Two more expected firings have come down the pipe as we prepare for tournament coverage. Oklahoma let Jeff Capel go, and N.C. State finally ended the Sidney Lowe era.

One of the first things we like to do in these situations is look to see which coaches are on fan wish lists and try to sort out which are fantasies and which might actually happen.

Oklahoma: It's hard to believe that the man who brought us Blake Griffin is gone, but everything for Jeff Capel went downhill when the electrifying dunker left school early to go to the NBA. Strange names come up in the local newspapers for this one. Doc Sadler is mentioned, which isn't all that odd except that he's already struggled mightily to build a winning program at a football-oriented Big 12 school. It speaks well to the respect he has in the coaching community that both Texas Tech and Oklahoma have kept an eye on him. Right up there with Sadler is Marquette's Buzz Williams, who has also been mentioned for the Tech job. Billy Gillispie is on everyone's radar, so throw him in there, too.

The strange names are these: the Norman Transcript tosses out Miami's Frank Haith and UConn women's coach Geno Auriemma. Haith seems to be on the hot seat in Miami, but his history as an assistant at Texas (from whence he got the Miami job) may make him a popular choice. Auriemma is at the pinnacle of his sport, and has shown no willingness to toss that away in favor of the challenge of rebuilding a men's program just to show he can do it. Until Jim Calhoun retires, I wouldn't expect Auriemma to ever look at making that move.

N.C. State: Sidney Lowe's firing is so fresh that the local columnists haven't really weighed in with their wish lists yet. The website Sports by Brooks has a fanciful list (which they shoot down as well) of Rick Barnes, Tubby Smith, Sean Miller and Mark Fox. Three of those coaches are in the NCAA tournament. Barnes is slotted in at the school that figures to own and operate the Big 12 from here on out. Miller and Fox are seeing their rebuilding efforts start to pay off at Arizona and Georgia, respectively, so why start over after just two years? Tubby Smith doesn't really seem like he wants to leave Minnesota.

The guys at Backing the Pack have some candidates on their list that seems sensible. Xavier coach Chris Mack would be a great get. Some other mid-major geniuses on the list are Cuonzo Martin (Missouri State), Chris Mooney (Richmond) and Blaine Taylor (ODU). Any of those gentlemen would be a fine choice as well.

State allegedly has $3 million a year set aside to lure a top coach, so it'll be interesting to see who jumps at the bait of repairing this once-proud program.

We'll do this again when the next round of coaches gets the axe, and we will, of course, keep you apprised when hirings happen. They're so much nicer than firings.

Photo: US Presswire

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