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Arizona basketball: Sean Miller named as a semifinalist for Naismith Coach of the Year Award

Arizona is 26-4 despite going through a ton of adversity, so Miller has a strong case to win it

NCAA Basketball: UCLA at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Has anybody done a better job coaching their team than Sean Miller this season?

Perhaps not.

The Arizona Wildcats’ head coach is one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Coach of the Year award, it was announced Friday.

Here is the full list:

Miller’s case for the award is simple: despite losing Ray Smith and Terrance Ferguson before the season began and having leading returning scorer Allonzo Trier miss the first 19 games with a suspension, Arizona sits at 26-4 and 15-2 in the Pac-12, with a chance to win a share of the Pac-12 title, should they beat ASU on Saturday.

Not to mention the Wildcats dealt with injuries to Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Kadeem Allen, and Dusan Ristic, too.

But while Arizona’s lineups have continually changed, the winning has remained constant.

For that reason, ESPN analyst Jay Bilas endorsed Miller for the award last week.

“This has been one of the best coaching jobs anybody has done all year with all that they’ve had going on, young players, having players out, injuries,” Bilas said last Friday in preparation for College GameDay.

Still, you can make a strong argument for any of the coaches on the list. Plus, the way Coach of the Year is determined is a very subjective process.

“Coach of the Year is kind of a weird thing,” Bilas said. “Some people look at it as who did the most with the least, so it leaves the best teams out of it, like they’re expected to do that. And then if you’ve won at a high level like Arizona has, you don’t seem to be in the running for that very often. I think [Miller] is (in the conversation), but ... it can differ based on how people view it.”

Four finalists will be named on March 16.

You can follow this author on Twitter at @RKelapire