When Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller and star player Derrick Williams show up for tonight's Wooden Award ceremonies in Los Angeles, they will enjoy the moment.
Their big decisions can wait.
Miller said Thursday that he would probably not hire an assistant coach to replace Archie Miller until May and that Williams, who is one of five finalists for the Wooden player of the year award, might approach the April 24 deadline before announcing if he will enter the NBA Draft.
In his 25-minute postseason news conference at McKale Center, Miller said guard Jordin Mayes will miss a month of off-season work because of a stress fracture in his foot and also indicated, among other things, that:
He's helping Williams decide: "My role isn't to convince him to come back to Arizona as much as it is to make sure that we can provide (Williams' family) with all the information that they deserve," Miller said.
"This year is unique because of the (possible NBA) lockout and there's not one person that can predict anything other than there's a really, really great chance that there can be one. … It doesn't mean that it's not right to go to the NBA, but you certainly have to take that into consideration."
He might play three guards next season, considering UA will lose no key guards and receive newcomers Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson: "We never did that once in the last two years, but it's so much about putting the right players on the court and the best players on the court. I think we have a lot of great combinations that we can use and, to me, that would be really fun to watch, when you have three ballhandlers on the court and two big guys."
A new assistant coach doesn't have to be from the West or have a UA background but must be able to develop relationships in the West: "I'm not really in a hurry. … Getting this right is way more important than anything else now because this hire is going to impact our program for years to come and in many ways."
All four 2011 recruits are expected to be eligible, even after Sidiki Johnson and Turner switched schools in midseason: "Sometimes if you switch schools it's like 'uh-oh.' But it's not switching schools. It's a matter of them doing very well in school regardless of where they're at, making sure they're in the proper courses and making sure that their test score is right. But we're on top of it, and we anticipate all four players coming in."
Not everybody has a future with the Wildcats (UA has only 12 scholarships available next season for 15 players as of now.): "I'm very confident in saying this: First of all, making decisions for the best interests of our program, that's our job. But the other part is to make sure the players and the student-athletes who are part of our program can reach their goals. Everybody wants to play. Everybody wants to play more. Sometimes it's hard to be honest, but it's the right thing. If they can leave here to go somewhere else to reach their goals, I think at the end - maybe not right away - it will help our program, and it also will really help them."
He hasn't had a chance yet to relax and reflect on the season: "I wish I would have kept Arch here. That's probably the one thing that's changed so quickly. We've gone from the end of our season to almost the next thing right away and instead of the next thing being able to take a deep breath and enjoying doing what we're doing … as you can imagine the phone is ringing and (hiring a replacement is) a big priority for us."
It should be easier to get the Wildcats to work hard in the off-season now that they have experienced the payoff: "The one thing that I really enjoy is talking to our players right now. It's amazing when you experience what they've experienced and … you're on that three- to four-week high that only the NCAA tournament can give you, you're part of a Pac-10 championship team. You'd be surprised how eager and hungry all of our players are to get back to that level. I think all of our players understand how hard it is to do, and also how rewarding how it is."