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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


What could Arizona men’s basketball get with Tommy Lloyd?

Outside of the McKale Center.
Maverick Arnold
The ticket office on the south side of McKale Center

Gonzaga men’s basketball assistant coach Tommy Lloyd is currently the hottest coaching name in the country that nobody knows about. He has had a huge hand in the dominance that the Gonzaga men’s basketball program has had recently, and he’s been on staff for 20 years, starting during the 2001-2002 season. 

Lloyd is from the Washington area and went to college at Whitman College to play Division III basketball. He ended up playing professionally overseas in Australia and Germany. 

The question then becomes: Why would Arizona want an assistant coach to lead its program? Aren’t they better than that? 

Lloyd is considered to be the best assistant coach on the west coast and probably the entire country. Lloyd has helped make Gonzaga elite by his recruiting prowess and it started with international players. He has recruited European and Canadian players, and even a player from Japan. 

Lloyd took a cue from head coach Mark Few that in order for Gonzaga to be successful, they needed to think outside the box with their recruiting and the best way was to go international. Arizona has had some recent success on the international recruiting side with the biggest names coming to Tucson being Lauri Markkanen and currently Azuolas Tubelis. Arizona has been able to have that recent success overseas because of assistant coach Jack Murphy. 

Lloyd is also supposedly friends with Murphy so there is a possibility that he stays on staff if Lloyd gets the job. Arizona could dominate the international trail even more if that were to happen. Lloyd isn’t just an amazing recruiter overseas, but an amazing recruiter overall. 

He convinced Jalen Suggs to go to Gonzaga and has been the lead recruiter on much of Gonzaga’s current roster, a roster that’s projected to open the season as the top-ranked team in the country next season. 

RELATED: Sean Miller out as Arizona men’s basketball coach after 12 seasons

He also is currently the head recruiter for Chet Holmgren, the No. 1 ranked recruit in the 2021 class and is a huge reason why North Carolina transfer, Walker Kessler, is considering joining the Gonzaga Bulldogs. 

If Arizona were to get Lloyd, I would expect the recruiting to not fall off under him, considering how good it was under Sean Miller. 

Lloyd also does his fair share of coaching on the court, being Few’s right-hand man. Few has given Lloyd that freedom because he trusts him. He also supposedly has a huge hand in practices and, on occasion, runs them. 

The trepidation some people have with hiring an assistant is understandable. The only assistant that Arizona, or any school, should target is Lloyd. 

Being on staff for 20 years and being the “engine” that makes Gonzaga go, Lloyd is more than ready for a head coaching job. He supposedly is waiting to take over after Mark Few, but if Arizona comes knocking that’s going to be a hard job to pass up and Few still might have another 10-12 years left in the tank. 

Arizona would be really lucky to have Lloyd as its next head coach and it could be trending that way.

Follow Jake Faigus on Twitter

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