Miller to Be Introduced As Arizona's Next Head Coach

Alan RubensteinAnalyst IIIApril 6, 2009

After initially turning down the offer, Xavier's Sean Miller has reconsidered and will accept the Head Coaching position at the University of Arizona. Miller posted a 120-47 record in five years at Xavier.  He led the Musketeers to four NCAA tournaments.  They made the Sweet 16 this year after making the Elite Eight in 2008. 

Miller initially turned down seven years and $14 Million.  Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood upped the ante to $18 million over seven years with a $1 million signing bonus. 

Miller will also be given flexibility in the way Arizona schedules games and how they travel. Apparently, Arizona will be traveling via charter. They have flown commercially in the past. All the Pac-Ten teams currently travel via commercial airlines.  That would give the Wildcats a great selling point in recruiting.

The rebuilding process in front of Miller is immense.  The Wildcats will have two years without big name recruits.  They lost the better part of this year's freshmen class and next year's class completely decommitted. 

The roster coming back could also be dire.  Juniors Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill are expected to declare for the NBA Draft. Junior Point Guard Nic Wise has also indicated he might test his stock in the draft.

Without their "big three", Arizona will likely see their 25 year NCAA Tournament steak come to an end.  Xavier has only one signed player for 2010. Kevin Parrom is a 6'6 200 small forward. 

There is no indication what Parrom's intentions are with Miller leaving.  It also remains to be seen if Miller can salvage a recruiting class for Arizona.  With much of the coaching flux nationally, there are many unsigned stars still out there.  The Wildcats supposedly have six scholarships open for 2010.

After being turned down by Tim Floyd last week, Arizona faced a dire situation if Miller declined the position. 

The rumors were indicating the Utah's Jim Boylen was the next target.  He has turned around Utah, but wasn't the big name that Arizona fans or Livengood were looking for.

Miller is an excellent long term solution.  Tim Floyd would likely have been better in the short term.  Two of Floyd's star players were unsigned and would possibly followed Floyd to Tucson.  Solomon Hill has verbally committed to USC and originally was committed to Arizona. 

Miller is only forty years old, nine years younger than Lute Olson was when he left Iowa for the Desert.  With success, Miller could be at Arizona for a long time.  His guard oriented system should play well in Tucson.