Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis spoke to Miller to talk about what he has been going through since Arizona missed the Final Four and got answers to questions we have all been asking.
"“If that’s [getting back to a Final Four] something that makes you uncomfortable as a coach or a player, then I don’t know if this is the best place for you,” Sean Miller told Seth Davis in his extremely insightful article."
That’s how Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis ended his article on Sean Miller being the next coach “in line” to break the Final Four barrier in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
That answers our first question: How committed is Sean Miller to break the Final Four barrier and how does he feel about this goal?
But we had so many more questions, and Sports Illustrated’s Davis asked Miller. It was fantastic that Davis got these candid answers from Miller, and that’s why we wanted to highlight this excellent Davis Post to Wildcats fans.
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The question we have been wondering about: Did Coach Mark Few ever call Coach Sean Miller before he went into the Final Four games?
It’s fitting, as Davis explains that Gonzaga’s Head Coach Mark Few called Miller after he broke the barrier and tried to console him:
"“I just wanted you to know that I don’t feel any different,” Few said. “I’m happy we’re here, but really, nothing has changed.”"
Miller tells Davis while letting out a laugh; he thought Few was fibbing, thinking Few he had to feel differently, and it had to feel good.
The question we have been wondering about: Did Miller ever watch the game to see if he could figure out what went wrong?
According to Davis, Miller watched the entire Xavier game twice after the loss. Once he watched it on the plane home, and one more time a few days later. He attributes the loss to the confidence, or lack thereof, the team lacked going into the game.
"“Give all due credit to Xavier, but I never felt good about that game once it started. For whatever reason, we didn’t have that confident look in our eyes that we had had all season.”"
The question we have been wondering about: Why was Miller not as intense on the sidelines as his team was used too?
Miller, according to Davis, thought the pressure of the game itself was enough pressure for the team. Maybe this is where his misstep came?
"“The longer you do this, the more you realize from an intensity perspective, sometimes the environment is enough,” he [Miller] concedes."
I had suggested earlier that he had planned on not taking off his jacket during the tournament. Remember the sweaty shirt issue from last season?
The question we have been wondering about: Did any other coaches reach out to Miller to console him after the loss to Xavier?
According to Davis, Miller said a lot of coaches called him, including Oklahoma City Thunder Head Coach Billy Donovan.
"“Coaches stick together because I think all of us have been in those moments,” Miller says. “So many guys reached out and told me, ‘Don’t let your last game define you.’ I have a good perspective on this, maybe because I’ve experienced it a number of times now. We went 32 and 5 and we’ve knocked at the door [of the Final Four] very hard. We just have to finish better.”"
Bottom line: Miller has done soul-searching, he added Associate Coach Lorenzo Romar to give him more experience on the bench. He is still getting some of the best recruits in the Nation to commit and has a bright future and a really solid chance to get to the Final Four this year. Bear Down and “Believe in Miller.”