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Citizen Staff Writer

Miller knows McKale

Sean Miller hopes to fare better at McKale Center than when he played here as a point guard for Pittsburgh.

In the 1988 Fiesta Bowl Tournament final, the Panthers fell to Arizona 88-62 when he was a freshman. In 1992, Pitt lost to UA 96-76 when he was a senior. “It was probably 24 degrees and gray (in Pittsburgh),” Miller said of the 1988 game, “and I remember getting off the bus and seeing (Wildcat) Matt Othick on a skateboard, going into practice. I said, ‘Boy, that guy has it good.’

“I know the final score wasn’t indicative of the beating we took that day.”

ASU connection

One of Miller’s mentors is Arizona State coach Herb Sendek, who he coached under at Miami (Ohio) and North Carolina State. Miller’s brother Archie, an Ohio State assistant, played for Sendek at N.C. State.

“I respect (Sendek) a great deal and I consider him a fantastic coach, and at the same time I know where I’m at. I know what my job is. I know that to win a Pac-10 title when you’re in a conference with a friend, on that given night your job is to win and so is his.

“I also really looked at what he’s been able to do in their program in a very short period of time and it gives you great confidence that if you do it the right way, which is something he does, that it can be done.”

NBA turnpike

UA’s NBA connections impress Miller.

“It was hard for me to remember all of the names of the great NBA players that have played here. Do you realize how uncommon that is? . . . You look at names like Sean Elliott, Steve Kerr, Richard Jefferson, Gilbert Arenas, Marcus Williams, Mike Bibby, Jerryd Bayless, Andre Iguodala. And I’m missing guys, like Luke Walton.

“That amazing run over a long period of time allows you to know as a coach two things: One, you really better be recruiting to keep things going, but most importantly there’s a reason why all those guys have come here. They are attracted to a brand, they are attracted to an arena, they are attracted to a great university and that’s what is most exciting for me to be the new coach.”

Big-name hype

Livengood cringed at all the big names linked to the Arizona job, such as Louisville’s Rick Pitino, Gonzaga’s Mark Few and Pitt’s Jamie Dixon.

“It didn’t spoil it for me, but the thing I worried about always was spoiling it for our tremendous fan base, our tremendous donor base,” Livengood said. “It became very painful and very hard to hear names of coaches who had reportedly turned the job down and yet I know I had never talked to them, they had never been offered and quite candidly they had never been formally contacted.

“All of a sudden, that was one of the dangers of the things we live with in this day and age. Once it’s out there out on the Internet, it’s pretty much reported to be gospel. That’s the way it is. That’s the hard part for our fans, our alums and certainly our donor bases.”

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This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

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