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Wes Miller hired as Cincinnati's Men's Basketball Coach

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  • Wes Miller hired as Cincinnati's Men's Basketball Coach

    Wes Miller, the longest tenured head coach in the Southern Conference, finished his ninth season as the UNCG men’s basketball coach in 2019-20 after taking over the reins of the program in December of 2011 on an interim basis. Miller has spent the last nine years building a championship-mentality throughout the program and has laid the groundwork for future success.

    The Spartans secured their fourth straight 20-plus win season in 2019-20, finishing 23-9 (13-5) and reaching the Southern Conference tournament quarterfinals. UNCG student-athletes set multiple individual program records during Miller's ninth season, while the team's 14 wins at home are the third most any Spartan contingency has had in a single year. The Spartans led the nation in turnover margin (+6.4), while ranking sixth in turnovers forced per contest (18.03), total steals (299) and steals per game (9.3). UNCG held conference bests in all of those statistical categories, in addition to leading the SoCon in blocked shots per game (4.3), field goal percentage defense (42.2), offensive rebounds per game (12.88) and total blocks (138). The Spartans' 299 steals are the second-most any UNCG squad has had in a single season. Junior guard Isaiah Miller received both SoCon Player of the Year and SoCon Defensive Player of the Year in 2019-20 becoming the first player to do so in Southern Conference history. He also set a new program record with 241 career steals, while his 1,410 points sitting 10th in UNCG history. Senior James Dickey also became the first SoCon player in history to accrue 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 200 blocks in a single career under Coach Miller, finishing his four years with 1,015, 1,060 and 222 respectively. Miller and Dickey both earned All-SoCon honors, while guard Keyshaun Langley received both All-Freshman honors and Southern Conference Freshman of the Year. The Spartans tallied one of their biggest wins of the past decade in a 65-61 victory at Georgetown (11.30), and came within a buzzer beater of NC State (12.15), reaching as high as the top-50 of the national RPI.

    Miller guided UNCG to its winningest season in program history in 2018-19, as the Spartans finished the year at 29-7. After narrowly missing the first at-large bid in school history, UNCG earned the No. 1-overall seed in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) where the Spartans defeated Campbell in the first round. Along with the 29 victories, UNCG also set new program records for consecutive home victories (17) and non-conference victories (11) while tying the benchmark for SoCon victories (15). Additionally, UNCG reached a double-digit road win mark (11) for just the second time in school history. Three Spartans earned postseason recognition, highlighted by sophomore guard Isaiah Miller winning SoCon Defensive Player of the Year along with being a first-team All-SoCon selection alongside senior Francis Alonso.

    During the 2017-18 season, Miller led the Spartans to a then-program-record 27 victories and a trip to the NCAA Tournament, the team’s first since 2001. UNCG won a program-record 16 home games during the regular season along with a SoCon record of 15-3. In December of that season, the Spartans recorded their first victory over one of North Carolina’s four ACC teams and just the third win all-time against the ACC by defeating North Carolina State 81-76 on the Wolfpack’s home court.

    After winning the SoCon regular season title for a second consecutive season, UNCG defeated The Citadel and Wofford in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the SoCon Tournament before defeating No. 2 seeded ETSU 62-47 in the final for the program’s first SoCon Tournament title in 17 years. The Spartans earned the No. 13 seed in the West Regional and faced No. 4 seed Gonzaga in the first round. UNCG had Gonzaga on the ropes with less than two minutes remaining but suffered a heartbreaking 68-64 defeat. On March 28, 2018, Miller received a contract extension through the 2028-29 season.

  • #2
    He has won 125 games the past 5 years. His teams have finished top 100 in Kenpom the last 4 years which is VERY difficult to accomplish in a conference that is that low. He took over a UNCG program that was AWFUL before he got there and turned them into a powerhouse at that level. I was watching some film on them earlier when he was mentioned as a name. Offense isn't always going to be clean but he is a very defensive minded coach. Team is constantly pressing and trapping when available. These stats get me jacked up specifically, "The Spartans led the nation in turnover margin (+6.4), while ranking sixth in turnovers forced per contest (18.03), total steals (299) and steals per game (9.3). UNCG held conference bests in all of those statistical categories, in addition to leading the SoCon in blocked shots per game (4.3), field goal percentage defense (42.2), offensive rebounds per game (12.88) and total blocks (138)."

    I am really excited about the hire as is every national person that has offered an opinion on it.

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    • #3
      Now official from UC
      Brent Wyrick
      92 Final Four Front Row
      @LobotC2DFW

      Comment


      • #4
        https://gobearcats.com/news/2021/4/1...ead-coach.aspx
        Brent Wyrick
        92 Final Four Front Row
        @LobotC2DFW

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm a big UC fan and haven't been this low and disappointed in a long time. This AD obviously has NO respect for the Bearcat Family meaning something.

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          • #6
            I was pulling for EM but am on board with the hire. He certainly has proven he is ready for the opportunity.

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            • #7
              The more I research the guy, the better this looks. Pumped. I hope he's on the phone with Tari right now.

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              • #8

                https://sportsfly.cbsistatic.com/fly...ncaa/CINCY.svgCincinnati to hire UNC Greensboro coach Wes Miller to take over Bearcats program after firing John Brannen

                Miller will leave the SoCon after 10 years with UNCG and head for the Queen City

                https://sportshub.cbsistatic.com/i/r/2016/05/25/209ff976-7132-40b6-8249-fe6e874880dd/thumbnail/80x80/7dcb32c00a38632ae5830135b26c5202/mattnorlandermug.png

                By Matt Norlander

                37 mins ago1 min read https://sportshub.cbsistatic.com/i/r...wes-miller.jpg Getty Images
                Less than a week removed from firing John Brannen, Cincinnati has picked its next coach: UNC Greensboro's Wes Miller. Sources told CBS Sports that Miller, regarded as one of the rising stars in the industry, has agreed in principle with Cincinnati to take over its men's basketball program.

                Miller, 38, was recently a finalist at his alma mater, North Carolina, and is encroaching on the 200-win barrier before turning 40. He has been viewed as a mid-major coach destined for a power-conference job for a few years now. Cincinnati will be that spot.

                UNC Greensboro is coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance, its second in the past three tournaments under Miller. The Spartans were a No. 13 seed and fell in the first round to Florida State. Miller went 185-135 in 10 seasons at UNCG and finished in the top three of the SoCon the past five seasons.

                Cincinnati made nine straight NCAA Tournaments under Mick Cronin, who left in 2019 for UCLA. The Bearcats tied atop the American Athletic Conference standings in 2019-20 in Brannen's first season, but were 12-11 this past season. Cincinnati athletic director John Cunningham, who fired Brannen, conducted the search himself.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BorisTheCat View Post
                  I'm a big UC fan and haven't been this low and disappointed in a long time. This AD obviously has NO respect for the Bearcat Family meaning something.
                  I think the message here is that HC experience is important, and guys should out and get some HC experience even at a lower level. I wish EM had done that. I'll be interested to see if Coach Miller brings in some UC guys as assistants. Would NVE still be interested?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by longtimefan View Post

                    I think the message here is that HC experience is important, and guys should out and get some HC experience even at a lower level. I wish EM had done that. I'll be interested to see if Coach Miller brings in some UC guys as assistants. Would NVE still be interested?
                    Great point. That would be awesome if it happened. Maybe that was part of the hangup as its unusual to dictate assistants to new HC hires. Under the circumstances it would be the best of both worlds and hopefully energize the fan base. Feel bad for EM and also agree he needs to pursue a HC job just for the resume.

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                    • #11
                      BEARCAT Basketball is BACKKKK! Just read a feature piece in The Athletic written over a year ago. This is a home run hire. A snippet on coach Miller’s coaching philosophy (sound familiar?):

                      An unrelenting defense, spearheaded by a 1-2-2 press that doesn’t really take a break, ranked 31st in the country in adjusted efficiency as of Tuesday morning, per KenPom.com. The 508 turnovers forced by the Spartans ranked third nationally; opponents cough it up on nearly a quarter of their possessions. At the other end, UNCG sits just outside the top 25 in offensive rebound percentage, collecting 34.3 percent of its own misses. It’s actually a quite simple template: The objective is to frustrate opponents at one end or the other, or both, through effort level. Which is something entirely controllable by UNCG, every single day.
                      My son starts UC MedSchool August ‘19 Black/Red

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                      • #12
                        Defense, offensive rebounding, forcing turnovers. Opponents turn it over 25% of the time!
                        My son starts UC MedSchool August ‘19 Black/Red

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BorisTheCat View Post
                          I'm a big UC fan and haven't been this low and disappointed in a long time. This AD obviously has NO respect for the Bearcat Family meaning something.
                          That guy hired in 89 didn't have UC ties. Those Yates teams were on the rise too. I cannot be upset at UC that the media made a mistake. UC chose a guy who has learned on the job as head coach, is 12-13 years younger, and was landing 4 star recruits to UNCG.

                          If UC or JC put out info that Erik was 1st choice, it'd be different. They didn't. We and a lot of others believed what we wanted to see happen. I wish Erik all possible success and think he would have been good at UC. I also think Wes will be good.
                          Red and Black are more of an Attitude than merely a color combination.

                          Intimidate! Dominate! Celebrate!

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                          • #14
                            Now it's time to fill the roster. Hopefully he can persuade Tari Eason and Mikey Saunders to stay.

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                            • #15
                              Great news!! Feel bad for the hype that leaked about Erik. Wes will win all of us over. But first, hit the recruiting trail
                              Red and Black are more of an Attitude than merely a color combination.

                              Intimidate! Dominate! Celebrate!

                              Comment

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