The changes regarding the USC basketball coaching staff have already been well documented thus far into the 2010 offseason with Kevin O'Neill looking to shake things up and bring in his own trusted assistants to join him on the bench next season. As a result, Tim Floyd loyalists Gib Arnold and Phil Johnson were sent packing with only Bob Cantu, who was hired by Henry Bibby, remaining on staff. As of right now, it appears as if O'Neill has begun shoring up some of the assistant coaching vacancies. From the official site:
Tony Miller has been promoted to assistant coach for the USC men's basketball team it was announced today (March 26) by head basketball coach Kevin O'Neill.
"I've known Tony for 20 years and feel he'll do a great job in every aspect for our program," said O'Neill. "He was a great player for me at Marquette and will be a great coach for us at USC."
Miller joined USC's staff for the 2009-10 season and served as the team's strength and conditioning manager. He starred at point guard for Marquette (1991-95) under then-Marquette head coach O'Neill, before playing professionally 12 years in Europe for teams in Holland, Belgium, Lithuania and the United Kingdom. He was a Dutch League All-Star in 1998 and 2000 and helped lead his Den Helder team to the 1998 Dutch League title.
Miller had a standout four seasons at Marquette, the first three with O'Neill as the team's head coach. Miller served as the Marquette team captain his final three seasons and led them into the NCAA Tournament two times, including a Sweet 16 run in 1994. He ranks seventh all-time among Division I players in career assists with 956 and is Marquette's all-time leader in that category.
Generally speaking, it's a bit hard to determine the quality or abilities of an assistant coach unless you're a beat writer and deal with the inner-workings of the team on a daily basis. So in all reality, I can't say with really any certainty at all that O'Neill is making the right or wrong move in bringing Miller aboard.
However, I do think that Miller's familiarity with O'Neill should serve as a benefit. There is no doubt that at times, O'Neill can be a little temperamental and border-line insane. Having a coach that understands his demeanor should prove to be helpful to a group of players that may be somewhat fazed by O'Neill's unpredictable behavior. At the very least, I don't think it would be a detriment.
So we'll sit back and see how this ends up. At the very least, it'd be nice if Miller could possibly help teach the team how to score some buckets against a zone defense.