UNC Greensboro coach Wes Miller is adjusting to life as the head coach.
He took over on an interim basis in the middle of last season and led the Spartans to the Southern Conference North Division championship.
Then came the offseason, the removal of his interim tag, and a wave of experiences he wasn't prepared to deal with.
"During the season, all I had to think about was our team, our practice and our next opponent," Miller said on the SoCon preseason conference call. "For a couple months, all I had to do was coach basketball."
Then came the administrative side of being the boss. He said hiring a staff was a challenge, recruiting is different as the head coach instead of an assistant, and he made the rubber-chicken circuit through the Greensboro community.
"The day-to-day operations that go into a program -- administration, budgets -- even though you have people to assist, you're ultimately responsible," Miller said. "There's a lot more to it than I realized."
Big game home games
Elon will play at Duke on Dec. 20.
Davidson will play the Blue Devils in a home game with an asterisk. They're playing in Time Warner Arena which is home of the Charlotte Bobcats on Jan. 2.
"We will certainly expect a very big crowd and our 5,500 seat arena is not nearly big enough to hold it," said coach Bob McKillop, whose team will play at New Mexico in the Pit on Tuesday at 2 in the morning -- eastern time. "I expect we'll get 15, 18, 19,000 people and Time Warner is a perfect setting for it.
"It's our home game. Yeah, it is cool."
The College of Charleston and Furman are the only other SoCon schools that will have a home game against opponent from a BCS conference this season.
The Cougars will host St. John's next Thursday and No. 2 Louisville on Dec. 4 at Charleston's new home, TD Arena. The Paladins will play Clemson on their home floor, Timmons Arena, on Nov. 16. Furman coach Jeff Jackson said it's part of a two-for-one deal with the Tigers.
College of Charleston coach Doug Wojcik, who took over for the retired Bobby Cremins, said he is following the Cougars' potential move out of the SoCon and into the Colonial Athletic Association.
But he's not letting it impact his coaching or his team this season.
"I have to pay attention to it the sense that it affects my livelihood, it affects my team, my school -- it affects a lot of things," Wojcik said. "It affects scheduling. Do we talk about it on a daily basis? Absolutely not. I don't really bother the kids with it."
Samford's new style
The Samford Bulldogs ran a precise Princeton-style of offense for 15 years under former coach Jimmy Tillette -- not anymore.
Samford athletics director Sam Newton fired Tillette after an 11-19 season and hired former Indiana University assistant Bennie Seltzer.
He's changing things.
"They ran the Princeton -- I don't think I'm smart enough to start to teach that stuff," Seltzer joked. "We're taking our system and changing everything. We're going to play aggressive man-to-man [defense] and we're going to try to be the best rebounding team and we'll try to get up and down a little faster."
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga coach John Shulman: "I'm glad we delayed our opening game as long as we could delay it. We knew we'd be young and inexperienced. All it does is give us two more practices. We're going to play four freshmen an awful lot. One day they look good, the next day they look like they're playing lacrosse."
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...
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