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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Arizona’s 9 finest candidates to switch Sean Miller after his firing

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Arizona fired head basketball coach Sean Miller on Wednesday, which ended a 12-year run with this system.   

The Wildcats have been 302-109 within the stretch, and that included three Elite Eight appearances. Arizona didn’t take part within the 2020-21 NCAA Event due to a self-imposed ban, and the following coach might face extra NCAA fallout within the future.  

MORE: SN’s way-too-early top 25 college basketball rankings for ’21-’22

It is nonetheless a prime job inside the Pac-12. The Wildcats are nonetheless searching for that first Ultimate 4 look since 2001. Right here is a listing of coaches who might entertain that high-profile job. 

Arizona head teaching candidates

Greatest bets 

Damon Stoudamire, Pacific coach  

Stoudamire can be essentially the most recognizable identify for Wildcats’ followers. He was some extent guard on Arizona’s Ultimate 4 workforce, loved a profitable NBA profession and spent the previous 5 seasons as Pacific’s coach. He took on a rebuild with the Tigers, who’re 32-19 the previous two seasons. It is a huge step up, however Stoudamire might have success in the long run.  

Josh Pastner, Georgia Tech coach

Pastner can be one other within-the-family candidate. He performed on the 1997 nationwide championship workforce, and he was an assistant at Arizona from 2002 to 2008. He is compiled a 249-148 file between stints at Memphis and Georgia Tech. Pastner’s groups have 5 match appearances and haven’t reached the Candy 16, so that will be a priority. Georgia Tech additionally had a postseason ban final season.  

Miles Simon, LA Lakers assistant  

Suppose Juwan Howard at Michigan. Simon, additionally a member of that 1997 nationwide championship workforce, spent 4 seasons as an assistant at Arizona from 2005 to 2008. He has been an assistant coach with the Lakers since 2017, and that LeBron James connection alone is sufficient to register with recruits. Simon is aware of this system and is aware of what it is prefer to be a star on a nationwide championship workforce. He’s a prime candidate in consequence.  

Joe Pasternack, UC-Santa Barbara coach

This depends upon whether or not Arizona will attempt to distance itself from the Miller period. Pasternack did function an assistant at Arizona from 2011 to 2017, and he’s taken benefit of a stint with UC-Santa Barbara. The Gauchos are 88-34 the previous 4 seasons, and they’re coming off an NCAA Event look. That success might simply comply with Pasternack again to Tucson.  

Different candidates 

Tommy Lloyd, Gonzaga assistant coach  

It is changing into clear that Mark Few seemingly is not leaving Gonzaga anytime quickly. What about one among his prime assistants? Lloyd has been with the Bulldogs since 2001, and the 46-year-old is sure to take the following step quickly. Gonzaga has emerged because the premier West Coast program, and Lloyd might carry these classes to the Pac-12. 

John Beilein, Large Ten Community analyst  

Beilein brings speedy credibility to a program, and his identify turns up in each main teaching search. Beilein, 68, helped revive the Michigan program, and if the itch to nonetheless coach continues to be there after the transient stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, then he might entertain a transfer out West. This labored for UCLA and Mick Cronin. Beilein is the perfect coach on the board, however he is perhaps content material to remain within the studio at this level in his profession.  

Brian Dutcher, San Diego State coach

If the Wildcats can’t get Beilein, then they may attempt a former Michigan assistant. Dutcher spent the majority of his teaching profession behind Steve Fisher at Michigan and San Diego State, and he is turned the primary head-coaching job into successful with a 96-31 file at San Diego State the previous 4 seasons. Dutcher, 61, might carry that to Arizona. He does not have the big-name cachet of among the different candidates, however that ought to not matter.  

Bryce Drew, Grand Canyon coach  

The Drew identify is sizzling given what Baylor achieved this season, and Bryce led Grand Canyon to an NCAA Event look. The Antelopes did that with a stifling protection that allowed 62.1 factors per recreation. Drew was 40-59 in three seasons at Vanderbilt, however there are extra sources to work with at Arizona. It is one other rent that might excite the fan base.   

Kyle Smith, Washington State coach

Smith is one other identify that will not generate an excessive amount of pleasure, but it surely could possibly be the suitable rent. He led Washington State to a near-.500 file the previous two seasons, and this system is on the upswing. Smith had 5 20-win seasons in 9 years at Columbia and San Francisco earlier than that, and that ground-up makeover is perhaps precisely what Arizona wants.



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