By the numbers: Sean Miller’s tenure with Arizona basketball
Apr 8, 2021, 8:05 PM | Updated: Apr 9, 2021, 9:43 am
(AP Photo/Amanda Loman)
Sean Miller’s time as the head coach of the Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team came to a close on Wednesday, as the university announced they would be moving on from the second winningest coach in program history.
Miller became a polarizing figure in the college basketball world, as scandal hovered around the Wildcats during the latter part of his time as head coach.
Arizona opted to part ways with Miller, who had one year left on his contract.
Here’s a look at the numbers from Miller’s time in Tucson.
After a victory against UTEP in 2018, Miller became the fifth-fastest coach to 250 wins with a program in NCAA men’s basketball history. Miller achieved the feat in only 324 games with the Wildcats.
From Nov. 23, 2011, to Dec. 15, 2018, Miller and the Wildcats did not lose a non-conference game at McKale Center. The Wildcats won 52 straight non-conference home games during that span.
Under Miller, the Wildcats won 30 or more games in 2010-11, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2016-17. Their best season came in 2014-15 when Miller and the Wildcats went 34-4 and made an appearance in the Elite Eight.
In his twelve years as the coach of the Wildcats, Miller and his staff were able to get 16 five-star recruits to play in Tucson. Of those 16, the highest-rated were Deandre Ayton and Aaron Gordon.
Miller coached twelve NBA draft picks, nine of which were selected in the first round. Five of those players were selected in the top ten, including Ayton, Gordon and Derrick Williams who were top-five selections.
In twelve years, Miller and the Wildcats qualified for the NCAA tournament seven times. The Wildcats earned a six seed twice, a two seed twice, a five seed once, a four seed once and a one seed once. The Wildcats made two Sweet 16 appearances, three Elite Eight appearances and made two first-round exits under Miller.
Miller’s teams won five Pac-10/12 regular-season titles since he took over in 2009. from 2013-14 to 2017-18, the only year where the Wildcats did not win the Pac-12 in the regular season was 2015-16. The Wildcats also won three Pac-12 tournament titles in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
While the Wildcats experienced plenty of success with Miller, controversy also loomed large. The men’s basketball program was guilty of four level one NCAA violations that included paying players and unethical behavior.
Miller was named the Pac-12 coach of the year three times, claiming the award in 2011, 2014 and 2017.
Miller won 73% of his games as the head coach of the Wildcats, which is the second-best mark in program history. Only Lute Olson, who had a winning percentage of 75%, is above Miller.
Despite getting close, the Wildcats couldn’t over the hump of the Elite Eight and never reached a Final Four with Miller leading the program.