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Arizona, Cincinnati Appear To Have Made Highly Promising Coaching Hires

As Wes Miller moves on after doing a tremendous job at Greensboro

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UNC Greensboro v Gonzaga
 BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Head coach Wes Miller of the UNC-Greensboro Spartans reacts during the first round game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Taco Bell Arena on March 15, 2018 in Boise, Idaho.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Two coaching searches that might have gone off the rails seem to have worked out fairly well.

Arizona hired Tommy Lloyd, a Mark Few assistant at Gonzaga. The notion drew a lot of scorn from players from the Lute Olson and Sean Miller era so one of Lloyd’s first decisions will be how to handle that. If he wins, that’ll resolve itself. And he seems poised to succeed.

The other job is closer to home as Wes Miller took the Cincinnati job.

That job opened when A.D. John Cunningham fired former coach John Brannen without really explaining why.

Worse, there was a lot of animosity between the two men to the point where they didn't speak for weeks.

Miller is a nice recovery from that.

He’s made an enormous impression in North Carolina, taking over at UNCG a decade ago when Mike Dement left mid-season and he’s been superb.

He had a shot at the Wake Forest job last year but his father is a major donor and that could have made for a very awkward situation if Wake had had to fire the younger Miller at some point.

We always thought he was waiting for the UNC job that just went to Hubert Davis, and it didn't take long for him to find a reasonable option after that happened.

Greensboro was very patient because in his first five and a half years he didn’t exactly crush it.

In the last five though he certainly has, winning 25, 27 and 29 games before Covid shaved some games off of last seasons 23-9 and this year’s 21-9.

His career record is 185-135 which works out to .578.

However, his record since his breakthrough 2016-17 season has been 125-43 with a winning percentage of 74.4.

Before you think, well that’s at UNCG, that’s exactly what makes it impressive. He’s not getting the cream of recruiting crops and operates on a very thin margin. Succeeding there consistently is a mark of true distinction and we expect he’ll thrive at Cincinnati as well. Not too long ago his Spartans came very close to upsetting Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament. We can promise you Lloyd remembers him.

No one knows yet how well Hubert Davis will do but it will be a surprise if Miller fails. And if he outperforms Davis? That’s a discussion for another time.