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#pounditFriday, September 30, 2022

Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd top candidate for Arizona head coach job?

Tommy Lloyd

The Arizona Wildcats are in the market for a new head basketball coach, and one name is being repeatedly mentioned as an initial candidate.

Arizona fired Sean Miller on Wednesday, opening up speculation on who will replace him. Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd has been receiving buzz as a possible candidate at Arizona for several weeks. CBS Sports’ Jeff Borzello and Stadium’s Jeff Goodman both named Lloyd as a possible leading candidate when assessing the Arizona opening.

As both experts note, Arizona is a basketball program with long-term success, meaning they have helped groom a lot of big names who have become successful players and coaches. Pacific’s Damon Stoudamire and longtime assistant coach Miles Simon are among them, as is Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner. All are plausible options if the school wants to focus on someone with an existing Arizona connection.

Lloyd does not have the Arizona connection, but he certainly has the resume. The 46-year-old has been the leading international recruiter for Gonzaga, having served as an assistant coach with the Bulldogs since 2001. It’s a reasonable question whether he’d want to leave Gonzaga for Arizona when the Wildcats could be facing NCAA sanctions. Plus, according to Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth, Lloyd has been guaranteed the Gonzaga head coaching position whenever current coach Mark Few retires.

Arizona is facing NCAA sanctions over alleged recruiting violations, and Miller was hit with the dreaded lack of institutional control charge before his ouster. His firing came despite chatter that his job could be safe, even in the face of the allegations.

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