Wes Miller, Cincinnati Bearcats destroy No. 14 Illinois; UNC Twitter reacts

CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 13: Head coach Wes Miller of the Cincinnati Bearcats is seen during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Fifth Third Arena on November 13, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 13: Head coach Wes Miller of the Cincinnati Bearcats is seen during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Fifth Third Arena on November 13, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Wes Miller and the Cincinnati Bearcats beat 14th-ranked Illinois in blowout fashion at the Hall-of-Fame Classic on Monday night, and UNC Twitter goes crazy.

Wes Miller was in serious consideration for the open head coaching position at the University of North Carolina, but it was ultimately assistant coach Hubert Davis that was chosen to take over one of the sport’s most revered and coveted jobs. A week and a half later, Cincinnati Athletic Director John Cunningham announced that Miller would be replacing former head coach John Brannen, who had been relieved of duty just a few days prior.

That will, of course, inevitably link the two head coaches for the foreseeable future, particularly if there are drastic differences in their respective levels of success. And given our tendency to overreact to just about everything in the world of athletics — and everything else — people are quickly jumping off the Hubert Davis bandwagon and latching onto the “I told you they should have hired Wes Miller” narrative. And while it’s still far too early to make such an assertion, it does make sense.

Over the first two weeks of the season, the Tar Heels have proven unable to stop anybody on the defensive end of the court, giving up an average of 83.8 points per game to their first five opponents and losing back-to-back games to the only two top 25 teams of the bunch.

Related Story. Tar Heels drop second consecutive game. light

Miller’s Bearcats, however, have gotten off to a perfect 5-0 start, highlighted by their 71-51 blowout victory over 14th-ranked Illinois at the Hall-of-Fame Classic in Kansas City on Monday night. Perhaps, none of the other wins on their schedule to this point impress anyone, but Miller and company have played — and beaten — all five to this point, and they’re doing it by an average margin of victory of nearly 21 points. They’re also showing a proclivity for playing tenacious defense, surrendering less than 55 points per contest.

So, naturally, all of the “I told you so” crowd came out in full force on Monday night following the Bearcats’ impressive victory, many of them North Carolina fans, and did their thing on social media. So, too, did a number of notable college basketball pundits and personalities, and one can only imagine that this is simply the beginning.

Along with comments from the likes of Andy Katz, Jon Rothstein and Jeff Goodman, UNC fans were among those giving their two cents regarding the situation. Members of other fan bases were happy to join in as well, simply getting a kick out of what seems to be a quickly growing controversy and speculation as to where the two coaches might end up if their current trajectories hold true.

Let it be known that I will always root for Wes Miller no matter what program he’s in charge of. He’s a terrific young coach, a great ambassador for the University of North Carolina and someone that has earned every bit of the publicity and admiration he’s currently receiving.

I feel no differently about Hubert Davis, though, having watched him come through the UNC system as a player and then an assistant coach for nearly a decade. He earned the position he’s in, and I fully support his hiring. He’s done a fantastic job on the recruiting trail, and he’s just five games into his tenure as head coach.

Fans are quick in this age of sports — and social media — to make knee-jerk reactions and jump ship when things aren’t going the way they anticipated. This situation is no different. Head coach of the North Carolina basketball program is not an easy role to fill. It comes with a tremendous amount of expectation and very little patience. Davis knew that when he took that job, so none of tonight’s tomfoolery will surprise him.

One thing to keep in mind is this: At one point, Matt Doherty coached his way to a 26-7 season, a first-place ACC regular-season finish and Associated Press Coach of the Year honors. That could just as easily be Miller’s fate as it could be Davis’. We simply do not know.

One thing is for sure, though; five games is far too few to tell.

Next. Tar Heels fall from latest AP Top 25 poll. dark

Check back with Keeping It Heel for all the latest on the former Tar Heel sharpshooter turned head coach, as well as everything on the UNC basketball program.