Arizona Basketball

Social media reactions of Tommy Lloyd’s hire at Arizona

What’s done is done. Now what?

Be patient.

The Tommy Lloyd era is upon Arizona, which is once again at a crossroads, much like when Lute Olson went through his retirement saga in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Remember Jim Boylen’s name was tossed around as a candidate before a young up-and-coming 40-year-old coach named Sean Miller took over? Miller coached Arizona to the Elite Eight in only his second year.

Ironically, what happened under Miller’s watch might preclude Lloyd from having similar immediate success. The Wildcats could be under NCAA probation for a year or two because of Miller’s alleged lack of keeping an atmosphere of compliance within his program.

Tommy Lloyd: “My family and I are so excited to join the great Wildcat family” (Arizona video capture)

This is not unchartered territory. Uncommon is more like it, for the program that Lute built.

For the first time in 49 years, Arizona is turning to an assistant coach to take over its program, only things are much different than when Fred Snowden was hired from Johnny Orr’s staff at Michigan in 1972. Three years after Snowden’s hire, Arizona was in the Elite Eight after electrifying Tucson starting in Year One with the Kiddie Korps.

Arizona started to become a national program under Snowden.

Olson made it a national championship level program.

Don’t be spoiled.

Don’t expect an Elite Eight by Lloyd’s second year.

If Lloyd has developed the same style as mentor Mark Few, than the wait ahead to be one of the nation’s elite again will be worth it.

Not until his 16th season at Gonzaga, in 2014-15, did Few reach the Elite Eight for the first time. Lloyd does not have that luxury at Arizona.

“While there are certainly potential obstacles ahead for our program, I embrace the challenge as we will build on the foundation in place to compete for Pac-12 and national championships,” Lloyd said in a statement released by the university.

If he is not in the Elite Eight by his fifth season at Arizona, the questions will return as fervent as they are now.

Was he the right hire?

If he does get that far by then, Arizona might have to ward off others from hiring him.

Here are the social media reactions Wednesday of Lloyd coming to Arizona, a hire that was apparently a foregone conclusion since Gonzaga lost in the national championship game April 5.

Some are enticed by the idea of an assistant coach at an established program such as Gonzaga bringing some of that mojo to Tucson.

Others are not so enthused because they believe Arizona is beyond hiring an assistant coach, especially one that has been a head-coach-in-waiting for almost 20 years as Few’s right-hand man.

Tommy Lloyd is 46 but looks younger. Arizona fans hope he can bring that vitality to Arizona:

Says a whole lot that Arizona president Robert C. Robbins was along for the ride with athletic director Dave Heeke in Spokane, Wash., to meet with Lloyd (or was it Heeke was along for the ride?).

Invaluable advice after the hire was long considered to be in Lloyd’s pocket? A better delivery would have been thanking the communication from the coaches, former players and basketball experts (who are these experts?) during the process.

Jeff Goodman in his column: Lloyd, 46, has been an assistant coach under Few for the past two decades and is best-known as arguably the premier international recruiter in college basketball. But that’s selling him short. He’s far more than just a guy who can cross the border and bring back talent.

Take by a Spokane sports journalist:

Kerr Kriisa testing the waters before meeting Lloyd. Things could change.

Adam Morrison hoping Lloyd brings to Arizona some of the culture he helped develop at Gonzaga.

Another Gonzaga great, Dan Dickau, mentions the word “instrumental” twice concerning Lloyd — for the development of Few’s program and Dickau’s own career.

Lest we forget that Lloyd has some compassion in him:

Adia Barnes welcomes the new coach with some excitement:

Gonzaga’s sendoff message:

If you’re an Arizona fan/follower and you don’t know what the “Kiddie Korps” is, you have to brush up on your history.

One longtime assistant of almost 20 years welcomes another longtime assistant of 20 years:

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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