Miller and Alford Among Pac-12 Coaches on Hot Seats

Willie Bee

Thursday, November 1, 2018 3:20 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 3:20 PM UTC

Results on the court are only one part of how long a college basketball coach can stay employed, and several coveted jobs could open up because of issues off the hardwood.

For most coaches, it’s disappointing results on the court that lead to their demise. For Sean Miller, it’s off-court issues that have the Arizona coach feeling the flames as the Wildcats enter the 2018-19 season.

It doesn’t help that Arizona concluded a campaign with great expectations by making a 1st-round exit as a No. 4 seed in March, and it also doesn’t help that Miller lost his top 5 scorers from last season. Still, what matters right now is whether or not Miller and the program can survive the current NCAA investigation. Miller has adamantly maintained his innocence and the Arizona regents are holding a closed door meeting to go over all of the legalities of the case.

There’s still talent in Tucson for Miller to work with, assuming he remains, though Oregon, Washington and UCLA are seen as the cream of the Pac-12. Arizona is currently priced 120/1 on the NCAA futures board to win the championship.

Are Alford’s Days Numbered At UCLA?

Speaking of UCLA, Steve Alford finds himself on the coaching hot seat as he enters his fifth season at Westwood. The Bruins experienced a 1-&-done showing in last year’s NCAA Tournament like the Wildcats, UCLA seeded sixth and falling to St. Bonaventure, and we know expectations are always high at the home of 11 national championships. A lot is once again expected, and 5Dimes has the Bruins 50/1 to win title No. 12.

Staying in the Pac-12, this should be Ernie Kent’s final season at Washington State. With an 18-54 conference mark the previous four seasons, the Cougars are predicted to bring up the cellar in the conference this year, so hopefully he didn’t burn any bridges when he left his commentating job with the Pac-12 Network.

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“We tip it up two weeks from today. It’s about taking that exhibition game and moving forward with what we’ve done in practice.”

Coach Alford, on the upcoming Saturday night exhibition game pic.twitter.com/dvQWtq5RJl

— UCLA Basketball (@UCLAMBB) 23 de outubro de 2018
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Pitino Walking On Thin Ice At Minnesota

It almost wouldn’t seem like a college basketball season without controversy surrounding a coach named Pitino, and Richard Pitino grabs part of the hot-seat spotlight following inconsistent showings on the floor at Minnesota the past five years amplified by player suspensions for off-court mischief. After getting off to a 13-3 start (2-1 in Big Ten) last season, the Golden Gophers plummeted out of the picture by closing 2-14 and covering the NCAA basketball odds just twice in their final 12 games. Injuries did play a part in that, so the Gophers could be a bit of a surprise this time around as a 200/1 to 250/1 pick.

Chris Mullin came home to his alma mater at St. John’s three seasons ago with zero coaching experience, and immediately endured a very tough 1-17 reintroduction into Big East basketball. It hasn’t gotten much better since then, and back-to-back wins over Duke and Villanova last February probably saved his job for one more season. As a 100/1 pick on the futures board, the Red Storm simply have to show a marked improvement this time or Mullin will be gone.

Keep your browser pointed to SBR’s free college basketball picks page to follow all of the news this season as we make the 5-month march to March Madness.

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