College Basketball Notebook: Xavier’s Miller going to Arizona
The national notebook …
TUSCON, Az. ó Sean Miller of Xavier has accepted the head coaching job at Arizona, ending the Wildcats’ sometimes frustrating search for a high-profile replacement for Hall of Famer Lute Olson.
The university announced the hiring on Monday after a confusing few hours in which it was first reported by several media outlets that Miller had turned down the job.
The 40-year-old coach met with Xavier athletic director Mike Bobinski and informed the school he was leaving after five years, then told the players in a meeting later in the afternoon.
“I did my best to follow my heart,” Miller said.
He was scheduled to be introduced Tuesday at a news conference in Tucson.
“It’s been an exhaustive week, but it’s a good day to be a Wildcat,” Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood said. “We believe we’ve brought in the best young coach in the country, a proven winner who will take this program into the future.”
Miller led the Musketeers to the Elite Eight last year and received a contract extension through the 2017-18 season. Xavier reached the round of 16 again this season.
The hiring came four days after Tim Floyd turned down Arizona’s offer and decided to remain at Southern California.
In an emotional farewell meeting at Xavier on Monday, Miller praised the Cincinnati school.
“I cannot say enough good things about this place,” he said. “It defines who I am to a large degree.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ó Leonard Hamilton is staying at Florida State after agreeing to a new five-year deal.
Hamilton, 60, had visited with Memphis officials about the opening there created by John Calipari’s departure to Kentucky last week.
Hamilton is 131-96 in seven seasons at Florida State after taking the school to its first NCAA tournament bid in 11 years. The Seminoles also defeated North Carolina last month to reach the ACC tournament finals for the first time.
LOS ANGELES ó Tyler Hansbrough has a chance to repeat as the John R. Wooden Award winner.
The North Carolina senior, DeJuan Blair and Blake Griffin were named finalists Monday for the award given to the men’s college basketball player of the year.
Maya Moore of Connecticut and Courtney Paris of Oklahoma were selected as finalists for the women’s award.
MEMPHISMEMPHIS, Tenn. ó Memphis has hired Josh Pastner, an assistant underJohn Calipari, as the Tigers’ new basketball coach.
Pastner, who is regarded to be a strong recruiter, worked one year under Calipari after six years as an assistant at Arizona, where he also played.
During Pastner’s time under former Arizona coach Lute Olson, the Wildcats averaged 23 wins per season, captured two Pac-10 regular season titles, advanced to two NCAA Tournament regional finals and made six-straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
In his only season at Memphis, the Tigers finished 33-4 with a Conference USA title and an NCAA regional semifinals appearance.
PULLMAN, Wash. ó Portland State basketball coach Ken Bone will become the new coach at Washington State. Bone will replace Tony Bennett, who last week left for Virginia. He will be introduced Tuesday as the 17th head coach in WSU history.
BOSTONó Boston University has hired Patrick Chambers, the associate head coach at Villanova, to be the school’s next basketball coach.
Chambers will be formally introduced by BU on Wednesday. He succeeds Dennis Wolff, who was fired last month after 15 seasons with the Terriers.
NEBRASKALINCOLN, Neb. ó Cookie Miller and Alonzo Edwards plan to transfer from Nebraska after helping the Huskers to an 18-13 finish last season.
Miller, a sophomore, started 46 of 60 games at Nebraska and averaged 6.7 points and 3.6 assists. He said he wants to play somewhere closer to his family in West Virginia.