Former NC State assistant coach Sean Miller is 5-5 in his first year coaching the Arizona Wildcats.
Miller will be seeing some familiar faces with NC State playing at Arizona at 10:30 p.m. tonight. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net. Miller was an assistant coach under Herb Sendek from 1997-to-2001, and worked with current Wolfpack assistant Larry Harris during that time.
Another person with NC State ties on the Arizona staff is assistant coach Archie Miller, who played and coached at NC State. Miller played for NC State from 1998-2002 (missing the 1999 season), and then was director of operations in 2004 and 2005, and assistant coach in 2006. Miller made 42.8 percent from three-point range during his Wolfpack career.
Miller had a successful stint coaching at Xavier, but inherited a massive rebuilding project at Arizona. The Wildcats lost center Jordan Hill and wing Chase Budinger to early entry to the NBA Draft. Hill was the No. 7 pick in the first round to the New York Knicks, while Budinger dropped to the second round and the Houston Rockets, but has been one of the top rookies in the league this season.
Miller and his coaching staff scrambled to sign five players last spring, for the No. 13 team ranking in the country. Freshman small forward Solomon Hill is the highest ranked of the players, checking in at No. 27, while guard Lamont Jones was ranked No. 68, center Kyryl Natyazhko was ranked No. 81 and small forward Kevin Parrom was ranked No. 122. Power forward Derrick Williams was unranked, but has ended up being the best of the signees this season. Four of the five signees were committed or signed with other colleges prior to ending up at Arizona. Parrom is also out with a stress fracture in his left foot, and could return against BYU on Dec. 28. The Wildcats
NC State (8-2, 0-0 ACC) at Arizona (5-5, 0-0 Pac-10)
Game time: Today, Dec. 23, 10:30 p.m. - McKale Center, Tucson, Ariz.
Television: Fox Sports Net
PG - 10 Javi Gonzalez (5-11, Jr., 10.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 6.0 apg, 1.4 spg)
SG - 21 C.J. Williams (6-5, Soph., 5.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.0 apg)
SF - 15 Scott Wood (6-7, Fr., 6.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.5 apg)
PF - 31 Dennis Horner (6-9, Sr., 14.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.5 spg, 1.3 bpg)
C - 5 DeShawn Painter (6-9, Fr., 2.0 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 0.5 bpg)
PG - 13 Nic Wise (5-10, Sr., 17.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.7 spg)
SG - 21 Kyle Fogg (6-2, Soph., 7.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.7 apg)
SF - 44 Solomon Hill (6-6, Fr., 8.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.7 apg)
PF - 23 Derrick Williams (6-7, Fr., 13.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.8 bpg)
C - 1 Kyryl Natyazhko (6-10, Fr., 3.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 0.4 bpg)
Location: Tucson, Ariz.
2008-09 record: 21-14 overall, 9-9 Pac-10
2009 postseason: Lost 103-64 to Louisville in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament
Coach: Sean Miller, first season at Arizona (5-5) and sixth overall (125-52)
The all-time series with NC State: First meeting between the two teams
Last meeting: None
Arizona: Arizona's third-leading scorer, 6-7 junior forward Jamelle Horne might not play due to a sprained foot. He is averaging 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game … Hill originally committed to Arizona, then to USC and back to Arizona following the various coaching changes. Williams was also a USC commit, and backup freshman guard committed to Louisville, Virginia Tech and USC, before signing with Arizona … Freshman center Natyazhko and is originally from the Ukraine, but attended IMG Academy. NC State tried to recruit him, but he ended up forging a bond with Coach Miller and decided to go to Arizona when Miller left Xavier … The last of the five scholarship recruits, wing Kevin Parrom, signed with Xavier, but followed Miller to Arizona.
NC State: NC State will be playing without leading scorer and rebounder Tracy Smith. The junior 6-8 center is averaging 17.6 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, and shooting 55.5 percent from the field. He was suspended by coach Sidney Lowe for his remarks about officials following the loss to Wake Forest on Sunday … Painter and 7-foot freshman center Jordan Vandenberg will likely get increased playing time in Smith's absence … Gonzalez put to rest any doubts about his hamstring injury by scoring 18 points in 31 minutes against Wake Forest. He also had eight rebounds and three assists … NC State will be playing at a Pac-10 school for the first time since 2004-05. The Pack's last win on a Pac-10 home court came in the 1993-94 season at Oregon State.