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Sean Miller reveals elaborate ruse: He's been at Pitt all along - The Pitt News

The Pitt News

Sean Miller reveals elaborate ruse: He’s been at Pitt all along

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By Jeremy Tepper | Senior Staff Writer

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In an elaborate scheme inspired by a Nicolas Cage movie, Sean Miller revealed Thursday that he’s the new Pitt basketball coach.

Three days after Pitt held a press conference to introduce former Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings as the new coach, the administration shocked Pitt fans by unmasking another coach — literally. Bewildered media members gasped when Miller revealed himself, pulling off an extremely life-like mask of Stallings.

Miller, a Pittsburgh native and Pitt basketball alum, left his head coaching job at the University of Arizona to take the same opening at Pitt. The idea, Miller said, was inspired by the 1997 movie Face/Off, where Cage and John Travolta both receive face transplants.

Miller said he was watching the movie when Pitt Athletic Director Scott Barnes called him about the job opening. Miller recounted the conversation, and said Barnes told him, “I’ve got a great idea: you become Pitt’s new coach.” Miller then replied, “I accept, but I have a better idea: Let’s torture the Pitt fan base first.”

“I figured if Nic Cage can do it, why can’t I? Every great coverup in American history is inspired by Cage movies,” Miller said, citing the 2004 film “National Treasure.”

After opening statements by Miller and Barnes, reporters hit the duo with an onslaught of questions.

Most prominently, why execute such an elaborate cover up? Miller, a prodigious Cage fan, said he wanted to bring notoriety back to Cage’s acting prowess, which he believes has been forgotten over the years.

“Cage is the greatest actor of our time,” Miller said. “Leo [DiCaprio] gets an Oscar for The Revenant, but Nic can’t get one for Con Air? The Academy is a sham.”

Though Miller didn’t quite go to the lengths that Cage did in Face/Off, the custom-made Stallings mask cost several thousand dollars, Miller said. Barnes said he was initially skeptical of the idea, though changed his mind after Miller went on a passionate rant about Ghost Rider.

“It’s called delayed gratification. It’s more fulfilling this way,” Barnes said. “Plus, it’s not like Pitt fans have suffered that much.”

Barnes did not disclose contract information, though Miller said he received “a million dollars for every Oscar Cage deserves.” One confused media member then asked, “does that mean you’re coaching for free?” Miller, puzzled, began listing off letters of the alphabet, perhaps a reference to his hero’s performance in “A Vampire’s Kiss.”

Though Miller spoke highly of his six years at Arizona, he said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return to his alma mater.

“The sunny days and top-notch basketball facilities just weren’t cutting it anymore,” Miller said. “There’s nothing better than wildly fluctuating weather and a dormant recruiting base.”

In regards to the style of play Miller will bring to Pitt, he said his teams will play fast offensively and press defensively.

“Faster than Ghost Rider’s motorcycle,” Miller said.

Also accompanying Miller at the press conference was DJ Khaled, who he revealed will serve as his top assistant. Khaled, a famed hip-hop music producer, has gained recent notoriety for his snapchats, many of which offer motivational advice.

Though Khaled has no previous coaching or playing experience, he frequently is seen sitting courtside at Miami Heat games. He was not hired for his basketball knowledge, Miller said, but for his enthusiasm and motivational tactics.

“If DJ Khaled can’t get our athletes to play hard, no one can,” Miller said, noting that effort is a major key to winning basketball games.

Following the press conference, Khaled was seen coaching Pitt forward Jamel Artis. After every made basket, Khaled shouted “another one.”

Miller, Barnes and Khaled all spoke of their high expectations for the team. The Pitt basketball program hasn’t made a Final Four since 1941, though Khaled said he expects to break that trend in his first year.

“They don’t want us to win a national championship,” Khaled said. “So we’re going to win a national championship.”

After reporters were finished asking questions, Barnes issued a closing statement.

“For anybody who thinks that I would mess this hire up, in the words of our new assistant coach, ‘congratulations, you played yourself.’”

This is a satirical story, part of The Pitt News’ annual April Fool’s edition.

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Sean Miller reveals elaborate ruse: He’s been at Pitt all along