Sunday, July 11, 2004

Five questions with Sean Miller

By Dustin Dow
Enquirer staff writer

New Xavier University coach Sean Miller wasted no time hitting the recruiting road during the important July evaluation period. He took a break to answer five questions from the Enquirer's Dustin Dow while at an Indianapolis summer camp.

1 What is your favorite moment as a player? (Miller is a former All-Big East point guard at Pittsburgh.)

Who do you think has a better chance of making the NCAA Tournament next season, Xavier or Ohio State?

A: When I was a freshman (in 1988), we played Syracuse on the final Sunday in March. Both teams were tied for first place, so it was for the Big East championship, and it was the largest Carrier Dome crowd for a basketball game at the time.

We went in there and won it, and it was an amazing moment to win the Big East title against a team like that Syracuse team.

2 What did you think last season when you saw ESPN replay the Jerome Lane dunk? (Lane, who played with Miller, broke a backboard on a dunk in 1988 after Miller threw him a pass on a fast break.)

A: It reminded me of how much weight I've gained since my playing days. That clip right there is keeping me alive.

That was a Big Monday game on ESPN, so for him to do that on that stage was amazing. It had very little to do with the pass.

3 This will be your first season as a head coach, but what is your best moment as an assistant coach?

A: Last year, going to the Elite Eight. Almost equally memorable, however, was the TV timeout with four minutes to go, playing for the Final Four against Duke. That was something special. You're just thinking, "Wow, this is it."

After that Texas game, though, you could just look at Father Hoff and see the reaction on his face and know it meant a lot to him. There was a lot of emotion.

4 When you take a break from basketball, where is your favorite vacation spot?

A: My wife and I have been to the Outer Banks 10 or 12 times. I've lived in Raleigh, so we got to go to the Outer Banks a lot. I really like North Carolina. I also like Miami, Florida.

5 Who is the best player you've ever coached?

A: David West. Without a doubt. He was just incredible in the clutch. The bigger the game, the bigger he played.

Length of search15 hours28 days
Athletic director commentsDawn Rogers: "It doesn't happen often that all the pieces fall into place so easily. I'm happy for our fans. They were hurt and disappointed on Wednesday, and they were at unease. I'm glad they only had unease for 15 hours. ... I've had plenty of phone calls and e-mails, and Father Graham has as well, and people are extremely happy with Sean as our coach."Andy Geiger: "You would have to be in a search. You would have to be a searcher and a searchee to understand the emotions and the influences that sway back and forth. How Thad might feel about his kids at Xavier, his coaching staff at Xavier. ... That's why I think it's important not to do an overnight coach search. I think it's important to take 28 days. Twenty-eight days in our lives is not a very long time. ... I don't think 28 days of carefully doing something this important, under these circumstances is a really long time."

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Who do you think has a better chance of making the NCAA Tournament next season, Xavier or Ohio State?

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