When Sean Miller addressed the McKale Center crowd after Arizona’s loss to Arizona State on Saturday, more than a few eyebrows raised.
“There’s no place that’s more magical than McKale Center, there’s no fans in the world that are more loyal,” Miller, choking up while speaking, said during a senior day celebration. “And it has been an amazing honor to coach in McKale Center the last 10 years. Thank you for everything.”
That speech – and all the turmoil Miller and his program have been embroiled in the last two seasons – led some to speculate that his time in Tucson was coming to a close.
Not the case, Miller said Monday.
“It certainly wasn’t a goodbye speech,” Miller told reporters at a press conference. “I meant what I said in terms of I can’t imagine a fan base treating a coach any better than this fan base has treated our staff and me.
“It’s overwhelming to see the support. I’m not naive enough to think that it would be like that at every place. It may not be like this at any other place.”
HIs words Monday were a clarification after he declined to put the speech into greater context after the game Saturday. Given how much his program has been tied to the federal investigation into college basketball – and an assistant’s dismissal for unrelated issues – and that the Wildcats have underachieved their historical benchmarks the last two years, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Miller not leading the program sometime soon.
Not that he’s ready to discuss that.
“It’s still not time to talk about the future,” Miller said Monday. “It’s not fair to this group, this team.
“For us, I want to make sure that we address things in the present. That (speech) was my best attempt.”