Maryland Might Have Secret Mystery Frontrunner, Not Sean Miller

Sneaky.

Remember Maryland's football coaching search? Everybody thought it was going to be Mike Leach, until suddenly it wasn't. Randy Edsall's name was hardly mentioned before Chick Hernandez called him as the next coach; it's obvious that Kevin Anderson likes to keep things quiet.

Could the same thing be happening now? The world is exploding with Sean Miller news, and hell, I've already written a rough draft of a "Sean Miller hired" post. But here comes the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Barker with the news that Miller may actually not be Maryland's top candidate:

Maryland has compiled a short list of candidates to replace retiring basketball coach Gary Williams and is waiting to hear back from one contender to gauge his interest in the job, according to a source with knowledge of the search.

The list includes Arizona coach Sean Miller, the source confirmed. But Miller is not the candidate that Maryland is waiting on, and Maryland said it would be incorrect to label Miller as a frontrunner.

Shocker. Hopefully this mystery candidate is better than Edsall. Or doesn't exist.

For the record, this jibes with some other stuff we've heard around these parts about a name that hasn't been mentioned. Don't know what that name is, but it's presumably a large one. Thing is, I can't see much bigger than Miller. Ben Howland? Billy Donovan? Rick Barnes?

The other potential option is that maybe this is a smokescreen. I don't know what Maryland gets out of this, but it sounds a lot like a source just told Barker, "Miller's not our number one, but we aren't going to tell you who that is." That's definitely hmmmmm-inducing.

Frankly, I'm going to have to say that the second option seems far more likely than the first. Or another option: maybe we asked some randomly awesome coach (Bill Self!) and are just waiting for him to turn us down before we give Miller the contract.

UPDATE: The more I think about this, the less worrying it is (in the sense that maybe it isn't Miller). This may be accurate, but it's more likely just the misdirection that comes with a coaching search. Until evidence otherwise becomes overwhelming, I'm continuing to operate under the assumption that Miller is the front-runner. Take this into account, but not too much.

For the record, at least one sportswriter thinks Miller wants Maryland more than vice versa. He thinks it's likely that something gets done, but that's interesting.

I never thought we'd be in the business of turning down Sean Miller. Then again, maybe we aren't.

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