The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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Is This It For Sean Miller?

After a Sunday that was simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating for sports fan with the NFL Playoffs, many may have missed what happened later Sunday night.

Under the cover of darkness in Corvallis, Oregon the Beavers of Oregon State may have done something that even the FBI couldn't do.

They got Arizona fans to turn on Sean Miller.

With frustration brewing all season due to sky high expectations with a roster brimming with talent and a series of underwhelming performances, things boiled over when the Beavers shellacked the Wildcats.

It was Arizona's 5th loss in its last 6 games. But three of losses came against three of the best teams in the country in Baylor, Gonzaga and Oregon.

This was something else. This was an egg laid against a mediocre Oregon State team.

Granted it was a late Sunday night in Corvallis after a Thursday night game but that's of little excuse for an Arizona team that is loaded with high end talent.

In the most recent wave of mock drafts, Arizona is projected to have three first round picks in Nico Mannion, Josh Green and Zeke Nnaji.

And now they're out of the Top 25.

After a bizarre and costly 16 months at the epicenter of the FBI investigation, this was supposed to be the year Arizona reclaimed their title as a west coast and college basketball powerhouse.

Many dreamed of Miller and Arizona being led by stud PG Nico Mannion to the Final Four delivering the ultimate retribution to the inherently incompetent NCAA.

But Arizona would need to make the tournament to make that dream a reality.

At 11-5 and 1-2 in a still weak Pac 12, Arizona might be playing for their tournament lives.

Once the FBI came and went, Arizona fans rallied around Miller as he was (in many ways rightly) thought to have been unfairly singled out during the saga and created a bond with Miller that you thought would've lasted longer than 16 games.

But fans are antsy. This team has talent and yet is still riddled with the same questions Arizona faced before the FBI came to town.

Offensive stagnation, poor timeout usage, poor execution after a timeout, ineffective minute distribution and worst of all, a feeling that no matter how much talent is on the roster, its not enough to overcome in game coaching inadequacies have all plagued Arizona throughout Miller's career.

A true PG. An NBA big. An elite wing. More shooting up and down the roster. An experienced bench. And none of it has led to a different Arizona.

Its been over a decade with Miller at the helm. Its been nearly half a decade since they made it past the Sweet 16. Its been nearly two decades since Arizona made a Final Four.

Oregon State did something not even the FBI could do: get fans to turn on Miller.

And its hard to blame them.

Time is running out on Miller to reciprocate the confidence the University and fans showed him at the lowest moment during his coaching career.

He needs a deep tournament run or else.

And right now, that looks like a outcome that not even Sean Miller can avoid.

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