Sean Miller Re-Hired as Xavier Head Coach
Andy Mac Williams,
Xavier now confirms they have re-hired Sean Miller as men's basketball coach in the wake of Travis Steele's removal last Wednesday. South Carolina made a strong pitch for Miller. Apparently, XU is comfortable with the hire from a compliance perspective and they are very thorough in that area. Miller checks a lot of boxes. Xavier will win the press conference early next week when Sean officially returns. The fan base will be re-energized. Sean will put together a competitive team quickly IMHO, hopefully retaining important talent from Muskie TEAM 100, maybe salvaging players from the current recruiting class??, scanning the transfer portal for viable veteran talent and don't underestimate players from Europe.
Miller made massive contributions to the Muskie program the 1st time around. In 2004 as Thad Matta's #2 man he helped XU to their 1st NCAA Elite 8. X just missed the Final 4 losing 66-63 to Duke. David West had moved on the NBA. X had to reload Frosh Justin Doellman and Justin Cage(both now Xavier Hall of Famers).
Miller is a point guard whisperer. He convinced Dedrick Finn to come off the bench allowing Lionel Chalmers to thrive at lead guard. X rallied from 10-9-winning 15 of 16-including 4 straight in A-10 Tourney then 3 more in the NCAA before the Duke loss.
Matta left for Ohio State and Miller battled thru a tough 1st year adjusting to the head chair. Years 2-5 as head coach were excellent. 4 NCAA berths-installation of the pack line defense-beefed up non-conference schedule-great recruiting(Stanley Burrell, Josh Duncan, B.J. Raymond,Derrick Brown,Jason Love, Danta Jackson, Tu Holloway, Brad Redford).
Xavier made a 2nd Elite 8 in 2008 and lost to a loaded UCLA team(Kevin Love-Russel Westbrook)in Phoenix. The next year (2009) X lost to Pitt in the Sweet 16 at the buzzer. That team goes to the Final 4 if Indiana doesn't prevent the immediate transfer of Jordan Crawford.
Miller brought a CBS Final 4 Banner back w/ him from Phoenix. He promised in front of full tent at the XU Golf Outing that summer to take Xavier that last mile to a Final 4. Now he can make good on that pledge. I believed Sean then.
I was disappointed when he left for huge money at Arizona. I want to believe again in Round Two of Miller Time. He's only 53 and has a lot to prove. He's the best current college basketball coach IMHO who has not been to a Final 4 and he's been one step away 4 times. If you're a golf fan, sort of like Phil Mickelson before he won that initial Masters. T
his should be fun! Don't expect immediate gratification.but it will not take long for Miller to make his mark on the BIG EAST and create buzz nationally.
My one regret is what happened to Travis Steele. I felt he deserved a 5th year. Covid, key injuries, crappy officiating and just plain bad luck worked against him. I also hate to see Xavier TEAM 100 get swept under the carpet and just fizzle out. Too many good players and good people-staff included.
Jonas Hayes is interim coach Sunday at Cintas in the NIT 2nd Round game vs Florida(1 PM EDY-ESPN). He may be off to his alma mater Georgia soon, but before he goes maybe he can rally the troops-beat the Gators and set-up a Quarterfinal Mythical Miami Conference War vs Dayton Tuesday or Wednesday at UD Arena. The Flyers need to win at Vanderbilt Sunday(3 PM EDT-ESPN2) because UD Arena is hosting the Ohio HS Title Games.
XU-Florida should be a war in its own right!!