The last 36 hours have been crazy for Arizona fans, administrators, players and even the coaches. People around the Arizona basketball program have been going crazy while trying to get the latest info on whether the reports of Sean Miller going to Maryland were true. As stressful as it has been for the fan base, imaging how stressful it was for the four signed recruits and the two verbally committed players.
To their credit, the Wildcat coaching staff was in constant, permissible contact with the recruits or those close to the recruits starting late Friday night.
The staff informed their recruits of their intentions to stay approximately 40 minutes before the Wildcat administration released the information to the public. This insured the players heard the confirmation from the staff and not from a press release or a news story.
Throughout the day on Saturday the staff was honest about what was going on and what their intentions were. While reports out of the East Coast were certain Miller was leaving, the Wildcat recruits knew nothing was 100% and most felt confident that Miller was going to remain at Arizona.
Both Angelo Chol’s high school coach Ollie Goulston and La Verne Lutheran Coach Eric Cooper Sr. felt “confident” early on that Miller was going to stay at Arizona as long as a few issues were addressed. One other coach told Wildcat Sports Report’s Gary Randazzo that both Arizona assistants, Book Richardson and James Whitford, indicated they wanted to remain in Tucson.
While most of the sources do agree that Miller addressed a fondness for the East Coast, he really wants to “build a legacy” and be a coach who is thought of like Lute Olson and Coach K. are.
WSR was told that Miller indicated he was trying to get some additional improvements to the program, including further compensation for the assistant coaches
“We will continue to work towards getting better in all areas as we move forward,” Miller said in his statement.
Or as one of the coaches told WSR “He told us he ‘got a lot of things accomplished’.”
In the end, Maryland’s courtship of Sean Miller will be a stressful couple of days for Wildcat fans and little more. I am sure Greg Byrne and his staff in the athletic department had a few heart palpitations as well, but in a few weeks all will be forgotten.
Had Miller left, or had Miller and his staff not been upfront and honest in their dealings with the players, their parents and the coaches, then there could have been backlash. Since Arizona coaches had been in contact with players and coaches and not mentioned Maryland as late as Friday morning, a lot of bridges would have been burned had Miller left or had they stayed and not followed up with full disclosure.
Now it becomes an uncomfortable weekend and little more.
For the latest on Arizona basketball and football, check out WildcatSportsReport.com