When Arizona won 30 games and advanced to the Elite Eight in only its second season under head coach Sean Miller, it opened eyes around the country that UA is back on the map as one of the elite programs in the country.
One year removed from the school's first missed NCAA Tournament in a quarter of a century, Miller was able to lead his Wildcats to within one possession of the final four.
Miller has also done wonders on the recruiting trail since his arrival; landing top-rated players like Josiah Turner, Nick Johnson, Solomon Hill and Lamont Jones while developing players like Derrick Williams and Jordin Mayes into viable college basketball players.
There is a negative side to this that Arizona fans have begun to see this offseason and that is the fact that Miller's name is going to continue to pop up in the middle of coaching searches. It happened once directly after the end of the season when North Carolina State came after Miller, but he ultimately declined.
When Gary Williams abruptly retired as head coach at Maryland, the rumor mill cranked up again. While everything is pure speculation at this point, Miller's name is once again surfacing.
Speculating on whether Miller is a legit candidate for the job or whether or not he would be even remotely interested in isn't the point.
In the world of fancy facilities and millions (if not billions) of dollars in cash, teams like Maryland are going to come after top of the line coaches for what it has to offer as opposed to what its pedigree is. The Terps have top of the line facilities, play in an area that possesses a recruiting base that is one of the best in the country and have a fan base that is willing to shell out the dough.
Even if Miller will be coaching at Arizona for a long time to come, you can expect his name to come up often in coaching searches. In fact, it wouldn't be a surprise to see his name surface to the top of a coaching search every one to two years. It doesn't take a basketball genius to understand what Miller has done in two years is nothing short of impressive.
But let's not shortchange the importance of Arizona on the national scale of college basketball. UA is one of the elite programs in the country and – without going into detail – it has been able to do despite a lot of obstacles stacked in its way.
Now that the Pac-12 television deal is official, a lot of those obstacles should become moot. Granted, this money will not start trickling in until 2013, but by then, the Wildcats could very well be a national championship contender even though they will still be working off their own money generated by the program and the athletic department.
With the new television deal, the renovation of various sports structures and facilities in the coming years and the momentum Miller has created in this program, it's hard to imagine another program short of a Kentucky or North Carolina type of school being able to even have the remote capability of prying Miller away from Arizona, but that doesn't mean there are teams that will not try.
Where does that leave Arizona though? Only time will tell at this point. The Wildcats have been a major player in college basketball for the majority of my lifetime and that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon assuming Miller is taken care of by Arizona (and vice versa).
If there is one thing that has become blatantly obvious, it's that Miller is one of the best young coaches in the country and programs will constantly make attempts at stealing him away. It's now up to the powers that be to make sure that doesn't happen.
Miller's candidacy inevitable
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