Coaching search profile: Sean Miller
The consensus among most Gamecock fans and analysts is that the University of South Carolina needs to look in the direction of a young, successful coach who is looking to break away from his mid-major program and into one of the country's premier and perennial top conferences. If that's the checklist that USC has laid out, then Xavier University head coach Sean Miller certainly fits the bill.
Miller, now in his fourth season as the leader of the Musketeers, is reportedly one of the candidates on the Gamecocks' radar in their search to find Dave Odom's replacement. At 39 years old, Miller has been successful year after year at Xavier, which is considered by many to be the class of the Atlantic-10 conference.
Miller has compiled an 87-36 record with XU and has also won an A-10 regular season championship in 2007 while earning the A-10 Tournament crown in 2006. He has also gone 1-1 in the NCAA Tournament after earning his first career victory in the Big Dance last season.
Prior to taking over the head coaching job with the Musketeers, Miller served as an assistant with the team under current Ohio State head coach Thad Matta, where he served as the school's first ever "assistant-head coach" alongside Matta. While assisting XU, the Musketeers compiled three consecutive 26-win seasons and a berth in the Elite Eight in the 2003-2004 season.
In his first season as the head coach, Xavier finished up a disappointing 17-12 and missed out on the NCAA Tournament. However, Xavier and Miller quickly rebounded to put together back to back 20+ win seasons, including a 25 win campaign last year.
In that season, Miller captured his first ever NCAA Tournament victory when he led XU to a two-point victory over Brigham Young University. In the second round, the Musketeers fell short in overtime against Greg Oden and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Currently, Miller has Xavier on a roll and has the Musketeers residing at #10 in the polls after recently knocking off the Dayton Flyers.
XU stands at 24-4 overall and 12-1 in the Atlantic 10 conference as of Tuesday night.
According to ESPN's Digger Phelps, Miller and Xavier are a "lock" for the Sweet Sixteen.
Not only would Miller bring an excellent resume to South Carolina, but viable experience at the point guard position, which is undoubtedly the strength of the USC squad.
It's known nationwide that USC has one of the top point guards in the country in sophomore Devan Downey, who as of Monday leads the Southeastern Conference in scoring at 19.7 PPG and steals with 86. Downey is also second in the league in assists behind Nick Calathes of Florida.
Miller could potentially turn Devan Downey into not only the best point guard in the SEC, but also in the nation.
Miller was a four-year starter at point guard for the Pittsburgh Panthers under head coach Paul Evans, where he helped guide Pitt to an 80-48 record, a Big East championship, an NIT berth, and three NCAA appearances.
Miller is also a member of the 1,000 point club at Pittsburgh.
Certainly, Miller is one of the rising names on the coaching hot list and would be a valuable pick up for the Gamecocks if he ends up in Columbia.
Miller has a contract with Xavier that runs through the 2015-2016 season.
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