Sean Miller has completed four seasons as the head coach of the University of Arizona men’s basketball team.
In those four seasons, he has guided the team to the Elite 8 and Sweet 16, but also missed the Big Dance twice.
However, he continues to bring in some of the top recruiting classes in the country, and as of now seems poised to have the Wildcats among the country’s best basketball teams for years to come.
Perhaps that’s why a poll conducted by CBSSports.com about which coach under the age of 45 will make the Basketball Hall of Fame, Miller received the third-most votes.
The group of people surveyed included coaches from all levels of basketball, and it showed Arizona’s boss earning 16 percent of the vote, trailing only VCU’s Shaka Smart (33 percent) and new Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens (18 percent).
One quote about Miller that stood out, according to writer Gary Parrish, was:
On Miller: “He’s restored Arizona basketball to where Lute [Olson] had it in his time of dominance. He has a track record at Xavier and should be a force in years to come — not just in the Pac-12, but nationally. Sharp, precise, determined. Should win a national title in the next three years.”
That has to be music to any Wildcats fan’s ears. However, part of the voting seemed to confuse Parrish. He understood why everyone who made the list was there, but he couldn’t wrap his mind around the fact that Miller, in his eyes, didn’t receive enough votes.
Miller is, to me, the safest bet of the group because we’re not waiting on him to take an elite job. He already has an elite job, and he’s crushing it. I don’t know whether he’ll win a national title in the next three years like the coach quoted above predicted because that always takes some luck in a three-week single-elimination tournament. But I’m certain Miller will compete for championships, and I’m guessing he’ll do it consistently for the next 10 to 15 years given the way he’s established himself as a recruiter. Truth be told, I figured Miller would be really good when he got the Arizona job. But he’s even better than I realized, and there’s no reason to think he can’t match or possibly exceed Lute Olson’s accomplishments. I know that sounds crazy. But I really do believe it’s true.