The hiring of Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd is sure to bring buzz surrounding the Arizona men’s basketball program as the Wildcats step into a new era.
It won’t be a job that comes without its challenges, as the program continues to deal with NCAA violations stemming from previous recruiting violations under Sean Miller.
Nevertheless, the prestigious program is still one of the top coaching destinations in all of college basketball. Although Arizona has lost a little bit of its luster over the last couple of seasons due to the dark cloud of NCAA allegations and discipline, Lloyd will look to turn that around.
In order to earn the position, he had to beat out many notable Arizona alums. Lloyd has an impressive resume while working under Gonzaga head coach Mark Few, and now he’ll look for his big opporunity in Tucson.
This move likely won’t come without some backlash from small circles of Wildcat supporters, however. Although Lloyd has a proven track record in Spokane, some were expecting an in-house hire.
Similar to the football program and the hiring of Jedd Fisch, only time will tell on whether Lloyd is ultimately the right choice. The jury is out, but Lloyd’s history of international recruiting, as well as how he has helped the Zags develop into the national limelight, won him the job.
He’s one of the best assistants in college basketball over the last decade. Here are some early reactions on the hire:
College Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman
BREAKING: Arizona is set to hire Gonzaga Coach-in-Waiting Tommy Lloyd, sources told @stadium.
HUGE upside. Terrific recruiter, has had major coaching responsibilities with Mark Few, and helped build the Zags program into what it is.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) April 14, 2021
ESPN College Basketball Insider Jeff Borzello
Arizona is expected to hire longtime Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd as its next head coach, sources confirmed to ESPN. First by @GoodmanHoops. Lloyd was the coach-in-waiting at Gonzaga, considered the best international recruiter in college basketball.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) April 14, 2021
ESPN Analyst Dick Vitale
No doubt that Tommy Lloyd of @ZagMBB who has had numerous offers over the yrs would definitely take the @APlayersProgram ARIZONA job if offered . It is an elite coaching position . Great fan interest / a rich tradition to build on .
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) April 12, 2021
Sam Vecenie (Writer At The Athletic)
Fascinated to see what Tommy Lloyd looks like as a head coach, and fascinated to see how Gonzaga works with his departure. He’s a really sharp coach, obviously great recruiter. All around, the Tommy Lloyd hire at Arizona has pretty huge ramifications for west coast college hoops.
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) April 14, 2021
Karthik Venkataraman (Reporter, CBS Spokane)
Sabonis, Olynyk, Morrison, Hachimura, Karnowski, Pangos, Sacre, Turiaf, Tillie and many more.
There would be no Gonzaga today without Tommy Lloyd. The players he brought in were absolutely instrumental to the success of this program. No brainer hire for Arizona.
— Karthik Venkataraman (@KREMKarthik) April 14, 2021