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Who's got next? Possible replacements for Sean Miller

Arizona Basketball
Posted at 1:21 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 18:41:03-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Now that Arizona Wildcats basketball and Sean Miller have parted ways, it's time to look ahead to potential candidates to lead the program.

Here are several coaches who athletic director Dave Heeke may be considering, listed alphabetically:

Adia Barnes (44 years old, Arizona women's basketball coach)

Fresh off a national title game run, Barnes would be the ideal glass ceiling-shattering, out-of-the-box hire. A star player on the team and WNBA champion, she has proven to be a top-flight recruiter, as well as adept at on-court tactics and motivation.

RELATED: Adia Barnes as Arizona men's head coach? "Absolutely not," she says

Tommy Lloyd (46, Gonzaga assistant)

A longtime assistant at one of the country's most successful programs over the last two decades, Lloyd could bring his master of West coast recruiting and insight gained from master tactician Mark Few to bring Arizona back to prominence. His lack of head coaching experience is a minus.

Jack Murphy (41, interim Arizona head coach)

He holds the reins for the moment, making it possible that Arizona would make the position permanent in order to keep continuity in place. It's more likely, though, that Heeke will opt for a fresh start, with Murphy possibly retaining an assistant coaching spot on the new staff.

Eric Musselman (56, Arkansas head coach)

The hot hire of the moment, the former Golden State Warriors and Nevada coach won an SEC title and got his team to the Sweet 16. He may have a higher asking price than Arizona is willing to pay.

Josh Pastner (43, Georgia Tech head coach)

Pastner has seemed destined for the job since his days as a scrappy bench player during the Lute Olson-led national title run. He quickly shot up the head coaching ranks, tutored by John Calipari before taking over at Memphis, but had struggled at Georgia Tech before winning this year's ACC tournament. Without that tournament run, his job with the Yellow Jackets might have been in doubt.

Mark Pope (48, BYU head coach)

Pope has built an under-the-radar powerhouse at BYU, and may come with a price tag that's a bargain in comparison to the likes of Musselman. There would be little flash to hiring Pope, but it would be interesting to see if he was able to recruit from the sort of platform offered in the Pac-12.

Lorenzo Romar (62, Pepperdine head coach)

Arizona's associate head coach during the 2017-2018 season, Romar has been one of the top recruiters on the West Coach since his days at Washington. His ties to the program are loose, and he may well be content to coach out the rest of his career at Pepperdine.

Miles Simon (45, L.A. Lakers assistant)

The 1997 national championship squad hero, Simon excelled in the broadcasting ranks before making inroads into coaching. His extensive Southern California connections and deep roots with the program make him a promising choice. The question is whether he's got enough experience to step into the role.

Jason Terry (43, Arizona assistant)

A firebrand who has helped keep Arizona's recruiting machine afloat while it was burdened by NCAA investigations, the longtime NBA stud -- and yet another member of the '97 title squad -- could keep the program running without a hard reset. Experience is another question mark here, though.

Luke Walton (41, Sacramento Kings head coach)

The former Lakers and current Kings coach will likely command a high price, but it's easy to imagine him wanting to return to his college stomping grounds -- he was a leader of the 2001 national runner-up squad -- escaping a floundering NBA franchise.