Arizona Basketball
After firing Sean Miller, Arizona has no clue who the next head basketball coach will be. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

A week ago, the University of Arizona fired head basketball coach Sean Miller. The FBI investigations into the Arizona Basketball program regarding bribery and fraud charges no doubt played a role in Miller’s dismissal, but the general failure of the storied Wildcats’ program to post any sort of notable season in the last three years likely factored in as well. Arizona has not made the NCAA Tournament since the 2017-18 season. Included in that three-year drought is the COVID-19 cancellation last year and a self-imposed postseason ban this season. The Wildcats also failed to finish above fifth place in the Pac-12 conference during that span.

Miller ends his 12-year stint at Arizona with a 302-109 record, 150-68 conference record, six NCAA Tournament qualifications, three Elite Eights, two Sweet Sixteens, five Pac-12 regular season titles, and three Pac-12 tournament championships. Ultimately, the failures of the last few years combined with the dark cloud hanging over the program led the university to decide it was time for a change.

Arizona Absolutely Botched the Head Coach Search

However, it seems that Arizona Basketball didn’t have a replacement lined up for Sean Miller when they decided to fire him. As Austin Nivison of 247Sports reported:

When Miller was fired, the assumption was that Arizona would immediately go after Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd. That has yet to come to fruition, and Jason Scheer of Wildcat Authority noted that the Wildcats had their sights set on Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman. With the Razorbacks and Musselman reportedly discussing a contract extension, that might be out of the question.

Austin Nivison, 247Sports

Arizona had absolutely no plan for who they were going to hire after Miller was gone. None whatsoever. They didn’t even have an internal candidate lined up. Tommy Lloyd was the runaway favorite to land the job, but Arizona hasn’t offered it to him after their initial interview. Arkansas obviously planned to lock up Musselman, so it’s unclear what made Arizona think the Muss Bus was a legitimate possibility.

Overall, Arizona has absolutely botched their head coaching search. This is just more evidence of how disastrous their athletic department has been in recent years. NCAA sanctions, FBI investigations, and firing a head coach with no real option to replace him. The list keeps getting longer.

There’s still a chance Arizona decides to get their act together and extend an offer to Lloyd this week. They might want to hurry before this debacle makes him decide he doesn’t even want the job after all.


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