As we’ve seen, Sean Miller can certainly bring in the talent, but now it is time for him to start elevating his coaching to meet Arizona Basketball standards.
As we should all know by now, it is that Arizona Basketball head coach Sean Miller can recruit with the best coaches in the country. He is able to bring some of the best talent to Tucson if the prospect is in the United States, Overseas, or more recently, South America (i.e. – Ben Mathurin).
To me, recruiting great basketball prospects to play for this program is not an area of weakness for Sean, clearly. But as we have seen over the years, could his weakness perhaps be developing and actually coaching players throughout the season?
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In the last 11 years, we have seen multiple Arizona Basketball teams with a myriad of NBA talent on some of those rosters. And as Wildcat fans, we feel almost slighted, that we should have another National Championship, heck even a Final Four by now.
Thanks to the Badgers (x2), a heartbreak to UCONN and other under whelming performances in the NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats are left empty handed and still looking to return to the promise land.
Coach K, Coach Cal have been able to bring in pro-level talent into their program and have had those players gel and grow into National Championship teams.
Why is it that they are able to take their teams to the next level and not Miller?
A major problem is that Coach Miller is not seemingly developing players like he did with Derrick Williams for instance. As you may recall, Derrick was just three-star recruit before landing in Tucson, where he turned into the No. 2 overall Draft pick.
Instead, we see a player like Nico Mannion struggle with his shooting throughout the whole year, never able to find his form or get into a rhythm.
Now granted, part of that is on the player, but some of that still rests on the coach in being able to put their players in position to succeed. The same goes for the freak athlete in Josh Green. Sean never was really able to tap into the kids full potential!
Coach Miller to his credit, was able to set up Zeke Nanji very well through the season. However, winning a National Championship takes more than seeing consistency from one player. Zeke was another blue collar worker like T.J. McConnell, who again thrived under Miller and his coaching philosophies.
It seems that Sean Miller and his coaching philosophies strike well with those players who have something to prove. Those type of kids seem to take off under Sean Miller who was that type of player himself.
Whether it is the fear of offending a top recruit, or the fear of messing with the mojo of top recruit, those kids don’t seem to jive well under Coach Miller.
Yes, eventually they all end up getting drafted in the NBA like Deandre Ayton, but in that case, I would argue that those players’ draft status have little to do with Miler’s coaching, but instead the prospects’ natural abilities at the game of basketball.
If Miller is going to continue to recruit at the level he does, then he’s going to need to adapt his coaching style to fit his talent. Or, at least change up his recruiting style to find the right guys who will buy into his system.
Perhaps luckily for us, this years’ team might not be the most impressive on paper, however, it is a team of student athletes with seemingly some thing to prove.
As Wildcats fans, we will always be there for our team no matter what! But the long wait is over and we are getting anxious for another National Title. Let’s Bear Down and get this done!