The big news from the July 4th weekend was that Butler head coach Brad Stevens will be heading off to the NBA to take over the Boston Celtics.
Miller is as much a part of the Butler family as anyone, which means that there’s little doubt as to how successful he can be as a head coach in the program.
The key, however, will be keeping everyone — current players, incoming recruits — on board.
And according to Zac Keefer of the Indianapolis Star, Miller will be doing just that:
Brandon Miller’s appointment as coach Saturday was exactly what the Bulldog players wanted — a former player and current assistant at the school, someone familiar with Butler’s culture.
“As far as I know, everyone will be back,” said junior guard Alex Barlow. “Everyone that I have talked to is thrilled for coach Miller.”
That’s a good thing, because Stevens hardly left the cupboard bare. Rotnei Clarke and Andrew Smith both graduate, but the Bulldogs do return Roosevelt Jones, Kameron Woods and Khyle Marshall in addition to former top 100 recruit Kellen Dunham, who could have a big sophomore campaign without having to share a back court with Clarke. Miller also keeps incoming recruits Elijah Brown and Nolan Berry, both of whom are ranked in Rivals top 150.
So much of what made Butler good under Stevens was his coaching ability — game management, game-planning, understanding of advanced analytics and how to maximize efficiency, etc. — and we won’t know whether or not Miller can follow in those footsteps until he actually has a chance to coach. But what we do know is he will have the same pieces available.
Whether or not Butler will be able to remain a top 25ish program in the new Big East with a new head coach remains to be seen, but the key may be getting players to buy-in, and that doesn’t look like it will be a problem.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.