Plenty of sports and real-life news broke during my time away from the blogging world. I'm sure if I took the time to recount them all, there would be more pressing news than this, but it's March, and my alma mater hired a real coach (no disrespect to David Cox) in former Dayton and Indiana head coach Archie Miller. And I am pumped!!! Plus, today was his official introductory press conference and he's a dude named Ryan who goes by another name. We're basically twins.
I wish I was there to ask the hard hitting questions. As the creator of @URIprobs, which automatically makes me a top 500 alum, I deserve a press pass.
Sure, from the jump, he was lying through his teeth saying that URI (a school with 10 career NCAA tournament bids) was "synonymous with success on the basketball court," but as we all know, you gotta lie to make it in college sports. What's he supposed to say, "URI is synonymous with starting the season like 14-3 then falling off the face of the earth?" We all remember the Baron Years.
I love what this move says about the program and university going forward. They didn't cheap out and hire some no-name assistant; they spent serious cash and brought in a semi-proven name. Sure, coach Miller wasn't great at Indiana, but who really has been since Bobby Knight? Maybe he's just a stray A-10 cat coming home?
The Rams "tried" to keep Danny Hurley in 2018 after leading URI to two straight round of 32 appearances by promising to finally pour some money into the program. Once he left for UCONN, so did URI's desire to act like a division one program. Now a few years later, URI is paying the big bucks to bring the basketball program into the 21st century.
Now, do I think Archie Miller will be at the University of Rhode Island for this contract's duration? No. If he leads URI to, let's say, two NCAA tournament berths in the next three years, I'm sure the power five will come-a-knockin', but for now, URI has a coach with a track record of legitimate success in the Atlantic 10 (14) conference.
Arch has me ready to run through a brick wall. The redemption tour starts in Kingston!
Miller's time at Dayton was highlighted by four straight trips to the dance, started by a run to the Elite 8 (which is the furthest URI has ever gone in March; 1998) in 2014.
Basketball is just in the Miller DNA. Archie is the brother of former Arizona coach Sean Miller. Sean coached at Xavier in the A-10 from 2004-05 to 2008-09 and was just rehired on March 19th, but they're now in the fake Big East. Still, maybe we'll see a Miller-bowl in non-conference?
There's still a lot that needs to be done in Kingston to rebuild this program. I think first and foremost they need to scrap their Walmart logo and adopt this fire flames design.
I'm sure with the transfer portal and Miller's name recognition, the Rams will bounce back in 2022-23, but it's way too early for realistic expectations.
I just know after waiting almost 20 years for an NCAA berth (well, like 15 for me because I didn't really care about URI basketball until I was in high school) then two straight trips to the dance, parlayed with the success of Ed Cooley's Friars, I miss URI being a relevant mid-major. I have all my eggs in the Ryan "Archie" Miller basket. I want the Ryan (us) Center to sell out consistently and maaaybe get a center court scoreboard like an actual D1 program. URI's irrelevance made it harder for me to give a fuck about college hoops the last two years (plus covid-world, mental stuff, and working a job I hate), but I cannot wait for next season. The Rams are BACK! (with perhaps a real offense????)
That jacket cannot get retired already. That's a A-10 Tournament Finals jacket. RHODY, RHODY, RHODY!