TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona's biggest offseason loss is expected to come to light around April 24 when Derrick Williams announces whether or not he'll enter the 2011 NBA draft. But, depending on his decision, Williams won't be the only major asset absent from Wildcats basketball next season.
When former Arizona assistant Archie Miller accepted a head coaching job with Dayton last week, Sean Miller not only lost his brother, but also a top-notch recruiter and well-respected coach.
"We lost a terrific assistant coach," Sean Miller said of his younger brother. "I'm happy for him because I think the opportunity that he has at Dayton to be the head coach at Dayton, especially at such a young age, is really second to none.
"It's a great fit for Arch. But it's bittersweet because we lost somebody who was involved in really every facet of our program. You don't trust anyone more than you trust your own brother."
Archie Miller was the cog in bringing in Arizona's tremendous 2011 recruiting class -- one of its best in the last decade. Archie Miller is responsible for bringing in highly-touted combo-guards Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson, who are No. 14 and 21, respectively, on ESPN's top 100.
But although Archie Miller played a large part in restoring the talent level at Point Guard U, according to his older brother, the 32-year-old was much more than just a recruiter.
"Although the name of the game so many times is recruiting, the comprehensive approach that he had as a coach is what made him so valuable," Sean MIller said. "He could help during the games, was a very good practice coach, had great relationships with our players, could recruit and moving forward our biggest priority in our program is to hire someone of his equal."
Sean Miller said that he expects to hire Archie's replacement sometime in "early or mid-May" and said that "there's been quite a bit of interest across the board." He also said the candidate could come from anywhere, and there's no bias in terms of a west-coast coach or someone with Arizona ties.
All Sean Miller is looking for is someone like his younger brother in all aspects of the game, which is easier said than done.
"I think it's very important that whoever we hire is equally comprehensive in their ability to contribute," Sean MIller said. "Not just a recruiter, not just a coach, but someone who can blend all of those qualities and I guess what I'm after is just an excellent coach."