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Miller one of 15 finalists for Naismith Coach of Year award

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Dayton’s Archie Miller and Jordan Sibert on Senior Night. David Jablonski/Staff


My second-most retweeted/favorited Tweet of the year involving Dayton men’s basketball — trailing only the one about Devon Scott and Jalen Robinson being dismissed from the team — was about Archie Miller yelling, “Hell yeah, baby!” as he entered the locker room after the win at VCU.

The media room just happened to be next to UD’s locker room.

Anyway, that just goes to show how much Flyer fans love Archie Miller right now. The nation has taken notice as well.

On Wednesday, Miller was named one of 15 semifinalists for the Naismith Men’s College Basketball Coach of the Year. Four finalists will be named March 19. The winner will be announced April 5.

The other finalists are: Virginia’s Tony Bennett; Notre Dame’s Mike Brey; Kentucky’s John Calipari; Baylor’s Scott Drew; Gonzaga’s Mark Few; Butler’s Chris Holtmann; Murray State’s Steve Prohm; Northern Iowa’s Ben Jacobson; Utah’s Larry Krystkowiak; Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan; Kansas’ Bill Self; Oregon State’s Wayne Tinkle; Maryland’s Mark Turgeon; and Villanova’s Jay Wright.

Miller and Tinkle are the only coaches on the list whose teams aren’t in the top 25.

All the good press for Miller has brought on the inevitable stories about, “Will he stay? Or will he go?”

Yahoo’s Jeff Eisenberg wrote one of those stories on Tuesday.

Last year, Miller reportedly received interest from the likes of Marquette and Wake Forest but opted to sign a longterm extension at Dayton instead. He’ll probably have another difficult decision to make this spring, especially if name-brand jobs like Georgia Tech, Texas or Indiana were to come open. 

From Louisiana Tech’s Michael White, to Northern Iowa’s Ben Jacobson, to perennial candidates Gregg Marshall and Shaka Smart, there are lots of coaches who should be hot names this spring. 

Miller should be a lot of athletic director’s first phone call though. With what he’s accomplished at Dayton, he has earned that.

Speaking of Miller, a fan responded to one of my Tweets to say he believes Archie’s word and that he’ll stay. I said I think he will be very choosy and if he left, it would be as much about the chance to win a national title as it would be about money.

This fan thinks UD can win a national title with Miller. Do other UD fans think this way? Is he delusional or just optimistic? Can any A-10 team win a national title?

Butler came close in the Horizon League, and obviously VCU and George Mason got to the Final Four. But winning the whole thing? That’s different. Just look at the list. Not many Cinderellas there, unless you go back to Villanova in 1985 and that was/is a Big East school.

But maybe a team from outside the top five or six power conferences can win someday. Let’s go to the poll.


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