Source: Sean Miller, Maryland to meet
Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller was scheduled to meet with Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson in Las Vegas on Saturday about the Terrapins job, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com.
Miller's decision on whether to take the job is expected in the next 24 hours.
The source said Anderson had not formally asked Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne to speak with Miller, but that is more of a formality in today's coaching carousel climate.
Multiple sources said Miller had become the primary target of Anderson after the sudden retirement of 66-year old Gary Williams Thursday.
Multiple sources close to Miller told ESPN.com he has remarked that he has spent all but two years of his life -- the last two as head coach at Arizona -- in the East, making this decision a tough one for him and his family.
A source said Miller has said in the past that Maryland was one of his dream jobs. Miller and Byrne have spoken a number of times over the past 24 hours as Miller wrestles with the possibility of leaving Arizona. UNLV athletic director Jim Livengood hired Miller and signed him to a five-year contract when he was the AD at Arizona.
Byrne tweeted on his page Saturday: "Wildcat faithful, please know that we have been and continue to work to keep Sean Miller as our coach. During our conversations Sean is very aware and has been very aware that we want him to be our coach. We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that happens. I hope you have seen our department make a real effort to be transparent and honest. As we are able, we will continue to communicate."
The source said Miller told Byrne it is not about money since he is already one of the top 10 paid coaches in the country. The decision will be about what his family wants to do in moving East.
"He's looking at Maryland from a recruiting standpoint of how you can get the flood gates to open up there if you did it the right way and then compete for Final Fours yearly," said the source with direct knowledge. "But he also has Arizona at a level now where there isn't as much competition for players [out West], where the Pac-12 now has a major television commitment, where he could stay there for 20 years. So it comes down to what his family wants to do. That's why he could talk to Maryland and not go."
But a number of sources close to Miller won't be surprised if he leaves Arizona after just two seasons. Miller turned down an overture from N.C. State last month but Maryland is considered a much better job, a position that could be argued that is in the top 10-15 in the country.
Miller was in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon for a Nike basketball clinic after hosting top five 2013 player Chris Thomas in Tucson on Friday. He was due to return to Tucson Saturday night.
The source said Miller, who is from Western Pennsylvania, played at Pitt and had a successful run at Xavier, owed it to himself to listen to Maryland's pitch.
This season, Miller led the Wildcats to the Elite Eight and a last possession loss to Connecticut after the Wildcats upset Texas and Duke. Arizona won the Pac-10 regular-season title. Miller was named the Pac-10 coach of the year.
Miller was coach at Xavier from 2004-09 and led the Musketeers to the Sweet 16 in 2009 and the Elite Eight in 2008. Miller has 166-70 record in seven season.
AZCentral.com reported that Miller earned $1.6 million last year from Arizona, $400,000 from Nike and IMG and another $235,000 in performance bonuses. The site reported Miller's buyout is $500,000 if he leaves before his fifth season in Arizona. That figure is more than manageable for a school to help offset, rather than in the millions.
Arizona is losing its top player off the Elite Eight team in sophomore Derrick Williams. Williams is expected to be a top three pick in this year's NBA draft. But the Wildcats return the core of their team and have the No. 7 recruiting class in the country, according to ESPNU's top 100 rankings. Two of the key members of the recruiting class are the No. 3-rated point guard in Josiah Turner, from Quality Education Academy (N.C.) and the No. 5 shooting guard Nick Johnson out of Findlay College Prep (Nev.).
If Miller were to bite at a possible Maryland offer then Arizona would be looking at its fourth coach in five seasons after Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson's last full season as coach. Olson was followed by two interim coaches in Kevin O'Neill and Russ Pennell before Miller arrived.
Memphis coach Josh Pastner, an Arizona alumnus and one-time assistant coach, would become one of the major candidates to replace Miller if this were to occur. But a source said Byrne would look at a national search for such a high-profile position.
Andy Katz is a senior college basketball writer for ESPN.com.
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