Miller’s Time To Decide …. decisions, decisionsby Steve Rivera on May. 07, 2011, under Sports
So, it looks like the Arizona basketball program is getting some of its same treatment.
It’s getting what Xavier got a little more than two years ago when UA officials – with a convincing pitch – came in and took their up-and-coming coach from the palm of their hands and brought him west. Foreign territory to be sure but more on that later.
After saying no – Miller was later convinced – everything would be alright once he got to Tucson. Of course, more money was thrown at him, so he decided to be part of the Arizona history. And anyway, he wasn’t THE guy following Hall of Famer coach Lute Olson, but the guy who replaced the guy who replaced the guy.
And then, after two years Miller has turned into THE guy. He’s the IT guy in college basketball and will be for some time, so what’s going on with Maryland won’t be the first (legitimate) time and it won’t be the last.
Truth be told, I told someone – actually a few people at McKale Center – that there were only two places I thought UA had to be wary of in the near future. They were Connecticut and Maryland. And those two specifically because there could be a chance of an opening in the near future. Dominos always have to fall in the college coaching business.
When UConn’s Jim Calhoun made mention of a possible retirement at a recent Boston Red Sox game I became leery of the possibility. Nothing has happened there. Then, this week Gary Williams at Maryland called it a day.
It was then I said, “oh, oh.’’ Greg Byrne & Co., were going to be in for a fight. Maryland is a good, prime job and more importantly, it would be closer to home for the Millers. They are from the Pittsburgh area and anywhere east is close enough.
And come on – as everyone knows – home is where the heart is. I don’t care how much money you make or how successful a person is. It’s home. In Miller’s case, money won’t be an issue and family will. Basketball won’t be an issue either. Sure he’s returned Arizona to prominence but he can do that at Maryland, too. He could probably do that anywhere. He’s that good.
Now, it looks more and more Miller could be doing it at Maryland. Reports – far and wide – have him seriously considering it. And why not? Basketball is more than just basketball. It’s about family and their happiness. When it was told to me that Miller’s wife tweeted this week that her allergies were killing her, I thought that’s not good. She’s made it public that Tucson isn’t paradise (for you Tucsonans who would argue give her some latitude). Some of you don’t like snow and those who do think you’re nuts.
And Arizona fans, you need to face facts. Olson made this job a great job. He didn’t want to leave because he liked it here and he had some peace and quiet, unlike he had at Iowa or would have had at Kentucky had he taken that job the two times they came after him. Family was the reason Lute stayed in Tucson. And, Arizona eventually paid him handsomely at the time. (He was underpaid by the near end although the ending was bad).
Family might be the reason why Miller decides to leave Arizona. If you were placed in the same position, you’d understand, too.
Money won’t be an issue. With UA’s new TV deal with the Pac-12 it’ll have the money to reward Miller and his coaches. That should be determined later this summer. But doesn’t Arizona have time to convince Miller?
Whether he goes or not, it probably won’t be determined until Monday morning. Until then, let the speculation continue. It’ll all likely be wrong anyway.