It’s becoming rarer and rarer to see two premier college basketball teams schedule a home-and-home series in today’s day and age.
“College basketball has really, really changed over the last decade and scheduling has as well,” Sean Miller said in December. “I would love to have even more home and away series. We’re not shying away from that, but all you guys have to do is look and see where did Kentucky and North Carolina play? Where did UCLA and Ohio State play? That’s the culture of college basketball.
“It’s not easy to establish these home and away series because the marquee programs are playing more neutral (site) games than ever before.”
But what about when your brother is a head coach at one of those marquee programs? That’s reality for Sean Miller and the Arizona Wildcats now that Archie Miller has taken over the reigns at Indiana.
And apparently a home-and-home series between Arizona and Indiana has already been discussed.
“Home-and-home with Arizona, I don't know if (Indiana athletic director) Fred (Glass) is actually going to have the ability to communicate with Sean as easily as me, but I think that's something that down the line would be really cool,” Archie Miller said at his introductory press conference. “He actually mentioned it to me; ‘we can do that’. It's just got to be right for both places.”
Arizona had a weak home non-conference schedule this past season, with the top teams it hosted being New Mexico and Grand Canyon.
“I just wish for our fanbase that we would’ve had maybe one or two more (games) here at home,” Sean Miller said in December.
Next season, the Wildcats add the Connecticut Huskies to their home schedule, but the Huskies are coming off a down year in which they went 16-17 — not exactly a powerhouse team.
In other words, Arizona’s home schedule will likely be underwhelming once again, but suddenly there’s a way to alleviate that problem in the future.
All it takes is two Miller brothers.
Archie says Sean Miller has been “the most instrumental person in my life when it comes to basketball.”
At his introductory press conference, Archie gave Sean a lot of credit for helping him to get to this point in his career.
Archie was an assistant under Sean at Arizona from 2009-11 before he became the head coach at Dayton.
“He's tied a lot of things together for me,” Archie said. “What we were able to accomplish in Dayton started with a blueprint that started at Arizona probably about eight years ago, and in similar fashion to IU, storied past, great fans, great University. I think what we were able to accomplish at Dayton with that blueprint with some tweaks can work here (at Indiana), as well.”
Archie said Sean “probably develops his coaches even more than his players without him realizing that” and also that Indiana is in a similar place Arizona was in when Sean took over.
“Sean is the very, very best,” Archie said. “You have an approach, you have a plan, and you have to look at yourself and say ‘does your ability to execute your plan work at Indiana’, and I think [Sean’s] unwavering response would have been with absolute confidence. He thinks it's a great place. He understands that. He also gives me great confidence because when we entered Tucson I guess eight years ago together in a similar approach but in much worse shape, you had to unite the former players. You had a great legacy of what's going on. You have all this tradition. You have expectations. And we were coming a long way not knowing anyone.
“We basically put the plan down, and without hesitation just worked extremely hard, and I think you're seeing a program out there that's sort of operating the same. You're dealing with high expectations. You're dealing with great players. You're dealing with tremendous former players. You're dealing with an unbelievable fan base.
“So they're similar in that regard in the way you take things over. But I will say this: This program (Indiana) has been run really, really hard on the way in, and this is a much higher starting point facilities wise than they had there, and this has much more of a quicker fix just due, I think, to the familiarity with the area.”
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