Arizona’s Sean Miller chosen in The Athletic’s NCAA coach mock draft
Near the end of September, The Athletic posed an interesting question: Which NCAA men’s basketball coach would you most want over the next 10 years?
The easy answer is someone like Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, but the time element is important. How many more years will he be at the helm?
The Athletic made up a scoring system and got five of its experts to take part in a five-round snake-style draft. Among the selections was Arizona head coach Sean Miller, “drafted” by Eamonn Brennan with the second pick in the fourth round.
“The steal of the draft?!” he started his blurb.
“Before the whole FBI, um, thing, Miller was widely considered the best and most productive coach in the sport not to have gone to the Final Four and was likewise seen to be very much around the corner. It was going to happen, and it was going to happen soon. Now, of course, all bets are off. But just because that best-case scenario has become less certain doesn’t mean it’s impossible, and if Miller has lasted this long, maybe he’s here to stay. Either way, worst case is he’ll be coaching somewhere, eventually, and I’ll still tally up those wins. So let’s take a gamble!”
The FBI investigation was on the mind of multiple experts. Three others mentioned Miller earlier in the draft as early as the first pick in the third round.
From Dana O’Neil, who had that selection: “I’m just not confident enough that Miller can outlast the FBI mess.”
Two picks later, Seth Davis said: “As Dana mentioned, by this point Sean Miller would be a no-brainer. I’m thinking he’s this exercise’s version of Michael Porter Jr. Plenty of upside sure, but what about that balky back? In Miller’s case, is he really going to last much longer in Tucson? If he does, he’s a steal here, but even so, there are others who are at least comparable in age and wins potential but carry far less risk.”
Miller was implicated by the FBI in the college pay for play scandal but was never charged.
ASU head coach Bobby Hurley was not picked in this draft, though his brother Dan was selected with the final pick.
Coach K was selected, as was North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, who is another person who may retire in the next 10 years but his pedigree was too much to pass up. Mark Few of Gonzaga was taken with the No. 1 pick.
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