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Maryland Search Taking Shape

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As the Maryland search comes into focus, A.D. Kevin Anderson reportedly is focusing on four main candidates: Jamie Dixon, Sean Miller, Mike Brey and Jay Wright.  Most of the speculation seems to be swirling around Miller, who is an East Coast guy with ACC experience.

But he's done very well in Tucson in a very short period of time.  Why would he want to move?

Well there could be a few reasons.  Keep in mind that this is entirely speculative, though grounded in some solid knowledge of Tucson.

First, despite the mantra about the great weather in Tucson, there are some real drawbacks.

It's only great in the winter.  Summer is hellish.  You haven't lived until it's 120 F, your dry cleaning bag melts in your car (and all over your clothes) and the inside of your nose hurts constantly. You can get dehydrated without even knowing you are sweating.

For those who are new to Tucson, allergies can be a real problem.  People used to go to the desert to get away from them, but then the rest of the goobers brought their plants and wanted a lawn.  Given the sunlight and heavy watering, pollens and molds are insane in Tucson.

The school system in Tucson (TUSD) is, to be charitable, not that great.

That said, there is a lot of beauty in the desert and there is a nice pace of life in Tucson.  There is nothing quite like the desert early in the morning or at sunset.  It's spectacular.

But here's the other thing about Tucson that doesn't quite come through from a distance: it's essentially an island. It's about as remote a real city as you can find in the continental U.S.  Your closest recruiting trip is going to be to Phoenix for the occasional decent player there, and you have to compete with ASU for that.

Otherwise it's California.  Lots there to be sure, but lots of competition, too.

In Maryland, you have various issues, including traffic, but you also could check out (we're blurring the years here on purpose) Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, Nolan Smith, Quinn Cook, Walt Williams, Tyrone Bogues, Danny Ferry, Johnny Dawkins and dozens of other kids for cab fare.

St. Anthony's is just four hours away and there are a ton of players in New Jersey and New York, as always.

Your kids will see you on a regular basis, allergies are not a particular concern, if you live in the right place schools can be great and the ACC, as Miller knows by now, is vastly superior to the PAC-whatever.

Also, while getting from Maryland to Miami is a haul (17 hours by car, not that they'd drive), getting from Tucson to Seattle is a 3,000 mile round trip. Utah is a 13 hour trip. Obviously it's an air trip, but still, it's a long haul. Flying gets old too.

Charlottesville, by contrast, is a bus ride.  Blacksburg is just five hours by car; the Triangle isn't much worse.

What will he decide?  As a coach, life would be a lot easier in College Park, but -- and this is true for whoever they talk to -- it depends on one's priorities.

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