John Miller, father of two Division I men’s basketball head coaches, never has an easy choice to make at this time of year: follow Archie Miller’s Dayton Flyers or Sean Miller’s Arizona Wildcats.
John, a famed high school coach in Beaver Falls, Pa., picked the Flyers this March for a simple reason.
“Archie is a lot younger,” he said Thursday. “Maybe I can help him a little bit more.”
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John followed the Flyers to Brooklyn, N.Y., last weekend for the Atlantic 10 tournament, and he’s with Archie and the Flyers this week in St. Louis for the NCAA tournament. The No. 7 seed Flyers (25-7) play No. 10 Syracuse (19-13) at 12:15 p.m. today in the first round at the Scottrade Center.
John is a proud dad. His son is the first Dayton coach to reach the NCAA tournament three times in a row since 1965-67. Archie’s Flyers haven’t traveled an easy path either in the last three seasons.
“He’s had a little more adversity,” John said. “Last year he had a lot of it. This year, you can’t say he didn’t. (Kendall) Pollard’s right now is a sore spot. He can’t go, but he can go. You’ve got him out there, and he’s about half of what he normally is.”
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No matter what happens today for the Flyers, John Miller has plenty of reason to be hopeful for the future of his son’s program. The Flyers will return four starters next season and lose only starter Dyshawn Pierre and one other senior, Bobby Wehrli, who said Thursday he won’t return next year though he has one more year of eligibility.
“I feel pretty good,” John said. “We’re young. We’ve got almost everybody coming back. If we can get one or two of the freshman to really improve, they can really be tough next year.”