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College Basketball: Miller's Extension Proves Arizona Is Elite

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats gestures from the sidelines against the Duke Blue Devils during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 24, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Ezra AmacherContributor IIIMay 8, 2011

For three days, all I heard from many sportswriters and people who had sources "close to the situation" was that there was a good chance Arizona's head coach Sean Miller would be leaving Tucson to go to Maryland.

One West Coast writer even tweeted at one point, that there was a 99 percent chance of Miller leaving what he had started at Arizona.

Me, I was a nervous wreck for about 72 hours, believing that one of the hottest coaches in college basketball could leave the desert for the ACC, for a job that was considered to be more elite.

Well...Miller is not going to Maryland or anywhere else for that matter. Instead, he signed a contract extension with Arizona and ended an emotional roller coaster for myself and many other Wildcat fans.

So what does this say about Miller? Some could make the argument that he looks weak and isn't sure where he wants to spend the prime of his career. After all, he had only been at Arizona for two years but seriously considered the Maryland job.

However, I think it actually looks good on Miller, and shows that he is one of the most wanted coaches in the country. Maryland fans certainly wanted him and some may have thought they had him for a few hours, only to be surprised by the news that he might have just been using his candidacy as leverage.

What does this say about Arizona? If Maryland was considered one of the top 10 programs to coach at but Miller still chose the Wildcats, doesn't that mean Arizona has to be higher on the list.

They certainly have one of the premier coaches in the nation. When Miller accepted the Arizona job, he had no recruits but within a few months, he had assembled a top-15 recruiting class that included Derrick Williams.

This past season, they won the Pac-10 title, absolutely demolished the defending national champion Duke Blue Devils in the Sweet 16 and were a three-pointer away from going to the Final Four.

The talent level at Arizona has gradually increased in Miller's first two years and while the loss of Williams will sting, a top-four recruiting class should help.

Today, Miller will be hosting five-star recruit Shabazz Muhammad and already has a commitment from another five-star recruit in the 2012 class, Grant Jerret.

Chris Thomas, considered as the top shooting guard in the 2013 class, probably won't take long before he officially announces his commitment to Arizona.

In other words, everything is set up for Sean Miller and his Wildcats to take over the western side of the country, if they haven't already.

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