Cooper excited about future with Miller

La Verne Lutheran's head coach, Eric Cooper, Sr. shares his reaction to Miller's decision to stay at the University of Arizona and more.

Father to Eric Cooper, Jr., and high school basketball coach of five-star UA commit Grant Jerrett, Eric Cooper, Sr. was pleased to learn the news of Sean Miller's homecoming.

"Wow, that's wonderful," he said when discovering Sean Miller's decision to stay at Arizona. "Santa Clause came to our house tonight."

Despite his clear excitement upon hearing the news, Cooper says he anticipated the outcome and remained calm throughout the weekend of turmoil surrounding Sean Miller and the Arizona basketball program.

"I'm not surprised," he said. "Personally, I think that this is the best scenario for him. I've looked at a lot of other opportunities and I don't think he'd be satisfied with being the third best in the ACC as far as recruiting and all that stuff.

"It didn't really bother me at all because I just felt like for that to come out right now, there must be something that we don't know about, so I wasn't really too concerned with it. I thought that we were going to be fine regardless and I thought that he would stay, so I felt calm about it."

The La Verne Lutheran head coach, who was recently named California State Divison III Coach of the Year, expanded on the possible unknowns he referred to.

"Like I said, there must have been a reason," he explains. "I trust that he would sort it through. He's a very intelligent man and I trust him. If he decided to stay or go, I felt like it would probably be for a good reason."

"I thought staying at Arizona was the best place for him throughout the whole thing. If you're good, then people are going to try to get you to come to their school."

Cooper, Sr. revealed that being in contact with Miller throughout the process attributed to his relaxed attitude about the situation.

"He just told me that it was something he needed to investigate, and he did," Cooper said. "I told him ‘do what you need to do; we support you one way or another.

"As a coach and a man, I just think he's a person of integrity and I felt like he was going to make a good decision. I kind of had a sense of calmness because of that. I felt like he would make a good decision, so I wasn't really concerned about the outcome at that point because I trust him."

As far as how this weekend's drama would affect the future of Arizona Basketball, Cooper Sr. believes the Wildcats won't skip a beat.

"It just keeps it in line," he says. "It's always been on the up rise, so it will just continue to move in a positive direction.

"I never wavered, because it's always good. Lute Olson did so much, now Sean came in and he's doing the same stuff. It's pretty much a good deal. I've had nothing but positive things to think or say about Arizona, the community, and the media, so I'm just thoroughly impressed with the whole thing."

When asked about Grant Jerrett and Eric Cooper, Jr.'s thoughts on the matter, he said that it wasn't too great of an issue.

"My son had asked me a couple times and I said ‘man, just be patient and let it all work out,'" he said. "I told him what I told you, explained to him why I thought this was the best place for Sean and why I thought he would make a good decision."

With that being said, he did know exactly how the two Wildcat commits would react to hearing the news of Miller staying in Tucson.

"They're going to be relieved," he said. "They're gung ho and ready to get to Arizona, so they're going to be relieved. It's going to be a positive thing."


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