Rhode Island targeting Archie Miller, 43, to be Rams' next men's basketball coach, sources say

Rhode Island has targeted former Indiana coach Archie Miller to be the school's next coach, sources told ESPN. There's mutual interest, and the sides are working toward finalizing a deal in the upcoming days, sources said.

Miller's arrival at Rhode Island would mark a return to the Atlantic 10, a league where he had significant success as the coach at Dayton for six seasons from 2011 to 2017. Miller led Dayton to four consecutive NCAA tournaments, an Elite Eight and two regular-season championships.

Hiring Miller would be a significant statement for Rhode Island at a time when in-state schools Providence (first-ever Big East title) and Bryant (first Division I NCAA tournament) are experiencing unprecedented success.

Miller, 43, last coached at Indiana, where he was fired last year after four seasons. Indiana did not make the NCAA tournament in any of those four years, although it was projected to reach the tournament before it was canceled in 2020.

Overall, Miller went 129-63 at Dayton and 67-58 at Indiana. He built a reputation as a strong bench coach and evaluator who struggled to build a roster that could compete in the upper-echelon of the Big Ten.

At Rhode Island, Miller will replace David Cox, who was fired last week after back-to-back losing seasons. Cox ended his four-year tenure there at 64-55.

The move to target Miller is indicative of Rhode Island's commitment to basketball, the school's marquee sport. Miller's past two jobs -- at Indiana and Dayton -- were at highly resourced schools, and the focus on Miller indicates a willingness to not only spend on head-coaching salary but also assistants, support staff and the other trappings of highly resourced programs.

Rhode Island is a proud program that has appeared in 10 NCAA tournaments in school history. It has proven a launching pad for coaches such as Dan Hurley, Al Skinner and Tom Penders. Hurley made back-to-back NCAA tournaments in 2017 and 2018 before leaving coach at UConn.

The potential pairing appears to be mutually beneficial. Miller needs a place to reestablish himself, and URI wants to get back into the throes of Atlantic 10 contention and NCAA tournament conversations.

That's something Miller proved he could do at Dayton, where he emerged as one of the country's hottest young coaches by winning the league's regular season in 2016 and 2017.