Arizona’s 9 greatest candidates to exchange Sean Miller after his firing


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

The Wildcats had 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 prime 25 school basketball rankings for ’21-’22

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

Arizona head teaching candidates

Finest bets 

Damon Stoudamire, Pacific coach  

Stoudamire could be probably the most recognizable title for Wildcats’ followers. He was a degree guard on Arizona’s Closing 4 group, 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 massive step up, however Stoudamire might have success in the long run.  

Josh Pastner, Georgia Tech coach

Pastner could be one other within-the-family candidate. He performed on the 1997 nationwide championship group, 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 event appearances and haven’t reached the Candy 16, so that might be a priority. Georgia Tech additionally had a postseason ban final season.  

Miles Simon, LA Lakers assistant  

Assume Juwan Howard at Michigan. Simon, additionally a member of that 1997 nationwide championship group, 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 group. He’s a prime candidate consequently.  

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 in every of 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, Massive Ten Community analyst  

Beilein brings instant credibility to a program, and his title 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 temporary 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 not get Beilein, then they may strive 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 a few of the different candidates, however that ought to not matter.  

Bryce Drew, Grand Canyon coach  

The Drew title is scorching 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 sport. Drew was 40-59 in three seasons at Vanderbilt, however there are extra assets to work with at Arizona. It is one other rent that would excite the fan base.   

Kyle Smith, Washington State coach

Smith is one other title that might not generate an excessive amount of pleasure, nevertheless it might be the appropriate 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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