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View Full Version : Other Sports Can I just say that Sean Miller is awesome!?


jAZ
07-06-2009, 09:37 PM
Thanks.

Arizona went from a top 5-10 program to a total mess with all 3 of our best players planning to leave early and a recruiting class that had collapsed from top 10 to no one. Miller came in late and convinced Nic Wise to return, for his Sr. year and one by one landed 5 of the few remaining top-100 players on route to a top 7-12 ranked recruiting class... all in 3 months.

I love this guy.

http://wildaboutazcats.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/seanmiller3.jpg

http://www.sportingnews.com/college-basketball/article/2009-07-06/millers-transition-arizona-going-smoother-expected

Miller's transition to Arizona going smoother than expected

Michael DeCourcy
Monday, Jul. 6, 2009 - 10:03 a.m. ET

This is not the job Sean Miller expected it would be when he took over the Arizona Wildcats three months ago.

Honestly, it's been easier.

And better.

OK, maybe "easy" is not the proper word to describe what he has experienced since leaving Xavier for the desert Southwest. He has been separated from his family most of the time, trying to build a staff, working to get to know the people of Arizona, battling to establish his program with recruits – all the basic job-changing stuff.

But when he got to Arizona, he stood to lose his top three scorers and was looking at an empty recruiting class, in part because of the bumpy transition from Lute Olson's regime to the future.

Now, partly due to luck – most of it bad, all of that afflicting the Southern California Trojans – Miller will welcome five capable freshmen when the Wildcats begin preseason workouts next month.

So Miller won't be recruiting frantically as the July evaluation period opens today for Arizona and every other Division I basketball school. There will be essential tournaments and camps this week in Cincinnati (Adidas It Takes 5ive), Cleveland (King City Classic) and Philadelphia (RBK U). Miller needs to see players. He needs to be seen. But he has only three scholarships to fill.

Wise will provide a little stability as Arizona adapts to a new coaching style.With point guard Nic Wise returning from the NBA draft to help direct the new Wildcats, Miller has a team in place, which didn't seem possible when he accepted the job.

"Things have changed somewhat dramatically over the last couple of weeks," Miller said.

In the weeks after joining the Wildcats, Miller and his staff – James Whitford and Book Richardson from Xavier, brother Archie from Ohio State – landed wing Kevin Parrom (who got a release from the Musketeers) and center Kyryl Natyazhko (who'd been considering XU but signed at Arizona). They also picked up wing Solomon Hill, who'd always preferred the Wildcats and withdrew a commitment to USC once the Arizona's situation became more stable.

The biggest difference, though, resulted from Tim Floyd's resignation as USC head coach. Two more players abandoned the Trojans and chose Arizona: forward Derrick Williams and combo guard Lamont "MoMo" Jones. Williams, in particular, is viewed as a potential star. Four of the five Arizona recruits are rated as four-star prospects by Scout.com.

"We weren't trying to add numbers as much as we were trying to add quality," Miller said. He was pleased to end up with both.

Now, instead of hitting the road looking to resuscitate his program, Miller can search to fill key spots – and maybe shoot for a few elite players who can elevate this solid core group. Arizona needs a big body, either a power forward or center. It could use another wing. And a point guard is essential because Wise finishes his career this season.

Although Miller has discovered the power of the Arizona brand exceeds even the high expectations that drew him to the job change, he is not convinced he must sign a McDonald's All American to fill his openings.

He looks at the programs constructed at Purdue and Pitt and envies their success and stability. He believes his Xavier program was built in similar fashion.

"They recruit depth," Miller said. "They have players in it for the long haul. They came to the program to be part of that program.

"And some of the things we did at Xavier. We were threatening a Final Four run, and how did we do it? We did it with depth. We brought in players that fit our university, and that were committed to the long haul."

Miller expects to recruit a group of 12-15 players to fill the three spots. He is starting from a little further back as July unfolds than he normally would be. He still hasn't gotten a good look at all of the prospects Arizona will pursue because he was working mostly the East and Midwest at Xavier.

"They're just names on a board right now," Miller said. "This is truly an evaluation period. The first 10 days will give us further direction on where we go."

The NCAA shut down much of April evaluation, which used to be a great time for those coaches who changed jobs to begin weeding out prospects.

Although he would embrace a recruit along the lines of Abdul Gaddy – headed for Washington, he was originally committed to Arizona – Miller is not sure he wants his recruiting to be defined only by the elite players attracted to Tucson.

"The method doesn't have to be to get four top 10 guys as much as the right guys," Miller said. "It's really hard to tell. There's always unknown when you recruit a class. So many times the players we've just gotten fit our style."

Some have tried to describe that style as uptempo, but it's an approach based far more on toughness and defense. Arizona basketball has been great for many reasons, but it's never been a place where biceps, shoulders and elbows ruled.

That should change in the future. Sooner than expected.

Mike DeCourcy is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at decourcy@sportingnews.com.

Der Flöprer
07-06-2009, 09:40 PM
Fuck Arizona. Go Dawgs!

jAZ
07-06-2009, 10:00 PM
**** Arizona. Go Dawgs!

I heard that Gaddy is sad he didn't hold off on signing his UW LOI like Solomon Hill did with USC. Arizona was his dream school, but with the mess at Arizona at the time, he wasn't willing to wait to see who the next coach would be.

Had things goes differently (Josh staying and Lute staying healthy) we could have had a class of 4 top 13 players. ( #4 Avery Bradley, #9 Keith Gallon, #11 Lance Stephenson, #13 Abdul Gaddy) :(

Der Flöprer
07-06-2009, 10:15 PM
I heard that Gaddy is sad he didn't hold off on signing his UW LOI like Solomon Hill did with USC. Arizona was his dream school, but with the mess at Arizona at the time, he wasn't willing to wait to see who the next coach would be.

Had things goes differently (Josh staying and Lute staying healthy) we could have had a class of 4 top 13 players. ( #4 Avery Bradley, #9 Keith Gallon, #11 Lance Stephenson, #13 Abdul Gaddy) :(

Well I'd say I feel bad for the kid but I'd be lying. I was surprised that we won the conference last year and it would be a pretty tall hill to try and climb again. We need all the help we can get.