ITH Super Happy Fun Time Coaching Search: Sean Miller

  • 03/26/2008 8:00 am in

smiller1.jpgKelvin is out the door and Dan is not our man, so that can only mean one thing: It’s coaching search time! Here’s a look at the candidates that could land in Bloomington. We’ll give you the pros, the cons and the bottom line. This morning: Xavier’s Sean Miller.

Pros: After serving three years as the top assistant to Thad Matta, Miller took control of the reigns at Xavier after Matta bolted for Ohio State and has compiled a 92-38 record in four seasons. The 39-year-old reached the Sweet 16 for the first time as a head coach with Saturday’s 85-78 win over Purdue. In his playing days, Miller was a point guard at Pittsburgh. He preaches defense and his club is allowing just 62.7 ppg this season. He seems to be the popular pick for those in the fanbase (alongside Tony Bennett of Washington State) who crave an “up and coming” coach. After all, Bob Knight was just that when he arrived in Bloomington at the age of 31 in 1971.

Cons: With Miller’s current deal at Xavier running through 2015-2016, would the university be willing to make the financial commitment to not only buy him out of his deal, but also reward him with a lucrative long term deal? That remains to be seen. You can be sure that the farther Xavier advances through March, the higher the price tag becomes for Miller. And other schools besides IU could come calling for his services. There is also a “buzz” that Miller would be more interested in coaching in the Big East given his playing background at Pittsburgh. He’s been described to me on several occasions by various people in the media as a “Big East guy.”

Bottom line: If Indiana wants to go young, Miller is right there with Bennett at the top of the list. Bennett might be slightly more attractive because he’d likely come at a lesser price, but if Miller makes it clear to the “blue ribbon” committee that he’s interested in IU, he’ll be given serious consideration. Most Indiana fans would be thrilled to have Miller at the helm and rightfully so: he can flat out coach.

This afternoon, PostmanE will break down Bruce Pearl of Tennessee.

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  • BrianK

    Thats kind of a ridiuclous statement. I would put that in the negative column for him if he said that. Most ex-assistants want to play there old mentors. Alot of times they add each other in their schedules ala Billy D and Pitino.

  • xfactor9600

    I've never heard him state this, nor seen it in print. In fact, OSU-Xavier were supposed to schedule a home and home one year after Matta bolted for OSU. It was Matta's idea to cancel it.

  • easy

    Haha can't blame Matta for not wanting to go back to Xavier where everyone seems to hate him now….

  • tberry

    if you want to see up-tempo, fast action basketball that wins, you are a Bruce Pearl fan.

  • RD21

    Like I said before, I knew that he had a say in the recruiting..I am just saying I would like to see in a couple more years how he would do, though I wouldn't mind seeing those next couple of years at a much better basketball school like IU. -Accomplishments even more special-… I would love to have Low and Weaver blossoming during my first year. Thanks for the insight splenda, I agree that he is a well established recruiter (5 good players for '08)

  • Ryan_Btown

    Agreed, my point exactly. He thinks it's so easy but in college, there's the psychology of dealing with 18-22 year olds, the book with thousands of pages of rules you have to follow and make sure ALL of your assistants follow, there's press, alums, fundraising and blogs that are critical of you (haha)…X's and O's are for nothing compared to what these guys have to deal with.

  • BrianK

    i just want some winning championship caliber teams. Kids graduating, not getting into trouble like the “old days”. I don't care if its fast paced or what as long as they have some strong defense. One thing you can say about Pearl's team is missed shots don;t get to them they are mentally tough kids.

  • ronb

    Thanks for the help. I will try that.

    The signing of the Constitution of the United States quote: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.” John AdamsLove Dad,Pappy,Ron

    —————————————-

  • BTOWN40

    I'm about 65 percent partial to Bennett and 35 percent to Miller. My ? is this. What are we looking for in a coach? Bennett looks to be a coach you could fall in love with, getting his players to play to there max, hard nosed defense and mental toughness. Can we win national championships with him though? What you see at WSU is great, not any big name players, but can you get the higher caliber player to buy into what he is teaching. Miller seems to have the more athletic team, but there focus seems to be elsewhere at times during some games. I watched several of their games and the 2 games late in the season to Saint Joseph, it just seemed liked they weren't all focused and most of these guys are seniors. I do liked how they showe mental toughness against Purdue in the tournament..I just feel that Bennett gives us more of what we want right now. I personally would rather have us in every game, because of our defense (Bennett), winning Big Ten titles (defense), and let the rest of theseason fall where it may. I think people put 2 much stock in the tournament. Too much luck is involved. Would we be considering Miller if his team didn't come back against Purdue, but is that enough for IU fans? I would rather look at the body of work of how a team played, not how they did in the post season. IU and WSU had about the same record this year, but Bennett's squad looked far more impressive in there losses than we did. I can handle a loss knowing that the kids busted there ass and never gave up, what I can' watch is the mental checkouts, and lack of effort that has been on again and off again since Knight was let go..GO BENNETT

  • Ryan_Btown

    I look at the recruiting competition he is going up against on the West coast. WSU is a team that has made the tourney like 6 times…TOTAL! That doesn't make it easy to recruit against the likes of UCLA, Cal, USC, Arizona, even Oregon.

    I think it's more likely to consider the recruits he was on board for while an assistant in the Big 10. Guys like Alando Tucker, Brian Butch, etc…

  • well, I like this guy best so far. Miller is the deal real deal. unlike bennett, no relative handed him a well-recruited class, a cupcake schedule and big time coaching job in the pac 10. Miller is his own man. Miller was Matta's #1 assistant at Xavier..Miller is who we need. We can respect Miller unlike Pearl. We can rest assured that he really has the skills. People people people please look at the schedule and the Pac 10 games UCLA beat him both times, Stanford beat him 3 times, Arizona beat him twice and Cal beat him (Cal just fired their coach) Bennet is smoke, daddy and mirrors. (Again, if he winds up being our coach I take it all back)

  • JerryCT

    I don't understand.
    Miller did not build the Xavier program. Gillen, Prosser, Matta and another guy I forget did that over more than 10 years maybe 15 years. It is in fact a serious mid major program with the athletes to go with it.

    Did WSU get beat by 5 teams worse than them ? uuhh No.
    DId WSU lose any game by more than 20 in any reg season game ? uhhhhhhh No
    Was any WSU player “well recruited” by even a mid major ? uhhhhh No
    Was WSU a “big time coaching job” like Xavier ? uhhhhh Nein

    Did both schools hire the asst coach ? uuuhhhhhhh, YESSSSS

  • JerryCT

    I don't understand.
    Miller did not build the Xavier program. Gillen, Prosser, Matta and another guy I forget did that over more than 10 years maybe 15 years. It is in fact a serious mid major program with the athletes to go with it.

    Did WSU get beat by 5 teams worse than them ? uuhh No.
    DId WSU lose any game by more than 20 in any reg season game ? uhhhhhhh No
    Was any WSU player “well recruited” by even a mid major ? uhhhhh No
    Was WSU a “big time coaching job” like Xavier ? uhhhhh Nein

    Did both schools hire the asst coach ? uuuhhhhhhh, YESSSSS