College Hoops Notes: Indiana hires Dayton’s Miller

Sports Xchange

March 25, 2017 at 11:38 am.

Feb 4, 2017; Dayton, OH, USA; Dayton Flyers head coach Archie Miller works the bench against the Duquesne Dukes in the first half at the University of Dayton Arena. The Flyers won 90-53. Photo Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 4, 2017; Dayton, OH, USA; Dayton Flyers head coach Archie Miller works the bench against the Duquesne Dukes in the first half at the University of Dayton Arena. The Flyers won 90-53. Photo Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Dayton coach Archie Miller has been hired as men’s head basketball coach at Indiana, it was announced Saturday.

Speculation turned to Miller after former Indiana star Steve Alford, head coach at UCLA, said on Friday night that he would not leave the Bruins and return to his alma mater.

“I am honored to be the head coach at Indiana University,” Miller said Saturday in a statement. “IU is one of the greatest basketball programs and academic institutions in the country and I cannot wait to get started. With peerless fan support, outstanding facilities and tradition, a beautiful campus, and located in one of the most fertile recruiting areas in the country, IU is a dream destination for me and my family.”

ESPN reported Miller agreed to a seven-year deal to replace Tom Crean, who was fired by the Hoosiers on March 16 after nine seasons. A press conference is scheduled for Monday in Bloomington, Ind., to introduce Miller.

The 38-year-old Miller has a 139-63 record at Dayton, was selected 2017 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year and has guided Dayton to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including a spot in the 2014 Elite Eight.

Miller, who was an assistant to Thad Matta at Ohio State, led Dayton to Atlantic 10 regular-season titles in each of the last two seasons, and did it this year even through standout forward Josh Cunningham missed much of the season because of injury.

Miller’s father is a legendary high school coach in Pennsylvania, and his brother Sean is head coach at Arizona.

–Steve Alford is staying at UCLA, eschewing interest from Indiana some 30 years after he led the Hoosiers to a national championship under Bobby Knight.

“I’m absolutely, 100 percent, not going to Indiana,” Alford said Friday night, moments after the Bruins lost 86-75 to Kentucky in the Sweet 16. “I am happy here. I love it here. We have a great recruiting class coming in and a brand-new practice facility. Obviously, I love my alma mater. But I’m committed to UCLA. I am not going to talk to Indiana. I am staying a Bruin.”

National media termed the deal “done” as recently as Friday morning. CBS Sports radio host Doug Gottlieb and ESPN’s Seth Greenberg separately reported that Alford was heading back to Bloomington and Bleacher Report detailed terms of the alleged contract agreement.

But Friday night, Alford said he’s not even planning to interview at Indiana. The Hoosiers fired Tom Crean after nine seasons and said they were looking for “an Indiana guy,” as a replacement.

–UCLA freshman sensation Lonzo Ball played his final college game on Friday night.

After UCLA was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament with the loss to Kentucky, Ball announced he is making himself eligible for the 2017 NBA draft.

The 6-foot-6 guard is considered one of the most talented players available and a potential No. 1 overall pick in June.

Ball was held to 10 points by the Wildcats and added eight assists and three rebounds. He struggled with his shooting, making 4 of 10 from the field and just 1 of 6 from 3-point range.

Ball completed the season averaging 14.7 points, 7.6 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game.