Move Over Sean Miller, Ohio State Has Chris Holtmann

Move Over Sean Miller, Ohio State Has Chris Holtmann

Basketball

Move Over Sean Miller, Ohio State Has Chris Holtmann


It is incredible what a difference a few months has made in the perception of Ohio State’s hiring of Chris Holtmann. Embattled Arizona coach Sean Miller had once been rumored to be a candidate for the Buckeye job.


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If Ohio State fans wanted a sign that the Buckeyes hired the right man to be their head basketball coach, this week delivered just that.

Oh, brother did it.

Even as Ohio State (24-7) under Chris Holtmann was beating Archie Miller’s Indiana Hoosiers 80-78 in double overtime to lock up at least second place in the Big Ten regular-season standings, reports were breaking that Arizona coach Sean Miller had been caught on tape discussing a $100,000 payment meant to ensure freshman Deandre Ayton signed with the Wildcats.

And, remember, it was just last summer that Sean Miller was linked to the OSU job.

The Buckeyes had parted ways with Thad Matta, and Miller was one of the names being tossed around on social media as a possible replacement.

It seemed unlikely. His Wildcats were sitting atop several preseason rankings, and the timing was less than ideal. Miller’s brother Archie had just signed with Indiana, and it was hard to imagine the two would want to face each other a couple times a year.

Still, it was taken seriously enough by Arizona school president Dr. Robert Robbins that he felt a need to issue a statement.

“The Ohio State University is great university, but they are not going to get Coach Miller,” Robbins told The Arizona Republic. “They will have to come over me to get him, as the saying goes, over my dead body.”

What he added feels ironic now. “I just think he is a quality guy,” the Arizona president said.

Some Ohio State fans, already disappointed that waiting until June to part with Matta had cost them a shot at Archie were now frustrated that Sean would be staying put.

They had seen Sean Miller’s work up close. He had coached at Xavier, and more recently he had won a high-profile recruiting battle against Ohio State for now Memphis Grizzlies guard Kobi Simmons.

However, all of Miller’s recruiting victories will be deservedly scrutinized now. Some of his on-court victories could very well be nullified.

Holtmann, meanwhile, says he’s not worried. “I can sleep well at night knowing how we’ve tried to run every program we’ve been a part of.”

Holtmann’s reassurances, although they are not a guarantee that Ohio State avoids NCAA scrutiny, are yet another reason for Buckeye fans to be very happy that Arizona’s president is alive, if not feeling very well.

 

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