Arizona coach Sean Miller clarifies recent postgame comments: 'It certainly wasn't a goodbye speech'
Miller sounded as if he was saying tootles to the Wildcats fanbase this weekend
In many ways, Arizona coach after losing to Arizona State felt like a goodbye. He was emotional, sincere and complimentary as he reminisced briefly about what his time in Tucson has meant to him and how the fans over the years have treated him. When you factor in recent scrutiny by both the NCAA and the feds, it didn't seem wild to consider it was his way of saying farewell.
After the game in his formal news conference, Miller elected not to address the sendoff that came about moments after UA's final home game of the season. But Monday, Miller offered an explanation, and he made clear it was not a goodbye.
"It certainly wasn't a goodbye speech," said Miller. "I meant everything that I said. You have to take into consideration the context. I think part of me in that speech is you're overwhelmed by the fact there's a crowd still in attendance.
"We lost to our rival, that's a small part of it. Obviously we finished our season and it's not a successful season by any standards other than to a large extent, I think we did about the best that we could so I think from that perspective it's not like I'm pointing fingers at anyone on our team.
"If anything, I'm pointing the finger at myself, but I meant what I said in terms of I can't imagine a fan base treating a coach any better than this fan base has treated our staff and me."
Miller has every right to backtrack on how he handled the situation -- and every reason to do so, too. Arizona has the No. 1 recruiting class for 2019 with three top-40 players set to join the program. At this point in the calendar, it's best to not tilt the hand one way or another; losing a player due to speculation about retirement or stepping away could be a huge detriment.
But it's also hard to take Miller's comments Monday at face value. Given the reported probes ongoing into Miller and the Arizona program, it's still fair to wonder just how long he has left coaching the Wildcats -- and whether he might've just coached his last game at the McKale Center.
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