Monday, March 30, 2009

You have to be present to win

I'm not naive enough to believe Sean Miller will retire as Xavier's head basketball coach. The once-in-a-lifetime job he'd be crazy to pass up will one day come. But, the time is not now, and Kentucky is not that job.

Besides, Miller realizes that leaving XU now would be like exiting the party just before they hand out the door prizes.

Coaches always are looking ahead, and Miller sees the promised land in the nearby distance. Next year's Muskies could be scary good, and he knows it.

"Something special", Miller called it.

Two of the best players on the team didn't play this season -- Jordan Crawford and Mark Lyons. Incoming freshman small forward Kevin Parrom could be an instant contributor next year.

Crawford sat out this season after transferring from Indiana. Lyons was ruled ineligible due to courses at Brewster Academy, a prep school in Wolfeboro, N.H., that did not meet core NCAA standards. Both practiced with the team and were impressive, in particular Crawford.

Add to them returnees Derrick Brown, Jason Love, Kenny Frease, Terrell Holloway, Dante Jackson, Brad Redford, Jamel McLean and ... well, you can understand Miller's optimism.

It's hard to find a weakness.

Again, not to sound naive, but Miller is the first XU coach that I believe could be in town for the long-haul.

One, the University now is in position to compensate him fairly.

Two, he has top-notch facilities and an established recruiting base.

Three, Cincinnati is a city where his family feels comfortable.

One day the lure of a stronger conference and the opportunity to compete annually for a national title might steer Miller clear of Victory Parkway.

In the near-term, the spoils of success are his ... right here at Xavier.

For now.

No comments: