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Arizona's search to replace Sean Miller a 'debacle,' Wildcats legend Richard Jefferson says

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A couple of former Arizona basketball standouts weighed in on the Arizona coaching search on Instagram on Monday.

One of them was very critical of the university's attempts to replace Sean Miller, who was fired last week after 12 seasons as head coach.

Former Wildcats star Richard Jefferson, who now works for ESPN, held an Instagram Live before a game he was working and was very blunt in his assessment of Arizona's coach search.

"No, I will not throw my hat into the Arizona coaching search," Jefferson said in response to a question. "That's already a debacle."

More: Former Arizona star slams frontrunner's coaching candidacy

More: Another former player draws interest in Arizona coach search

Former Arizona star Gilbert Arenas later joined Jefferson on video and shared his thoughts on the search.

Richard Jefferson warms up before a game between the Nuggets and Mavericks in 2018.
Richard Jefferson warms up before a game between the Nuggets and Mavericks in 2018.

His pick? Former Arizona star Damon Stoudamire.

"He's been coaching for a while now," Arenas said. "He's established himself. You know, he's turned a whole program around where he went. I mean, he has the credentials."

One coach that has evidently not impressed Arenas? Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd, who Arenas refused to name.

"An assistant coach doesn't have credentials," Arenas said.

Jefferson then interrupted: "You're talking about Tommy Lloyd?"

Arenas' response: "I don't even want to say his name because he doesn't deserve it. You are an assistant coach, OK. You assist."

More: Arizona basketball coach search: Gonzaga's Tommy Lloyd 'frontrunner' to replace Sean Miller

Arenas wasn't done.

When asked by Jefferson for more of his thoughts about Lloyd, Arenas replied: "What did they (Gonzaga) do? They had an AAU schedule, they didn't play anybody. And when they did play someone they got their a-- handed to them and as an assistant coach you should have said, 'Listen, our offense is not working today, maybe we should just play them one on one because we have a number three pick in this draft. Let him get busy since he's actually not getting any shots.'"

During the video, Arenas gave his order of preference for who should land the job at Arizona.

You might notice a theme of his choices being former Arizona players.

"Damon (Stoudamire) one, I can't go Josh (Pastner) because Josh has a job. I like Miles Simon, he's been around."

Arenas isn't the first Arizona player to provide some blowback about Lloyd, widely considered the frontrunner for the position, getting the job.

A.J. Bramlett shared his thoughts on the subject in a series of tweets last week, calling for the involvement of former players in the search.

His tweets came in response to a report from PlayersProgramU.com that Lloyd had agreed to become the coach at Arizona.

"This can’t be true," Bramlett tweeted. "The damage done from this kind of decision without feedback from the alumni will kill the support from all of us. One of the most valuable assets we have is our history and it needs to be the first thing considered."

In response to another tweet by PlayersProgramU that said "The damage has already been done by the UofA admin on how they parted ways with Miller," Bramlett replied with "That doesn’t have anything to do with who the next coach is and getting feedback from one of the strongest if not the strongest group of alumni in college basketball."

Bramlett also tweeted that not involving the former players was "the wrong thing to do."

"I bleed Arizona every day. I wear the “A” almost everyday in NM," Bramlett posted. "The relationships I made during my time with Arizona basketball are the most long lasting of any relationships in my life. I know what Coach O would want and not involving us in this is the wrong thing to do."

Stoudamire, the head coach at Pacific, Simon, a Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach and Jason Terry, who was on Miller's staff in Tucson last season are among the former players who have reportedly interviewed for the position.

As for Jefferson, he was a vocal supporter of Miller, so it's not hard to see why he would call the search a "debacle."

“I’m a Sean Miller guy,” Jefferson said on the Pac-12 Network last month.

He continued: “If you were to put him nationally with other coaches and other programs, he would probably be top five, top seven. Coaches like that don’t grow on trees. And so I’m a big Sean Miller guy and I hope that they can turn this around and get going in the future.”

Later, Jefferson also defended Miller on social media, replying to a tweet criticizing the Arizona coach with some strong words.

The tweet said: "No doubt. Let's continue to wallow in mediocrity and snub our noses at the NCAA because a former player says it's ok. 29-27 in the PAC the last 3 years. Doesn't take an expert to realize that's not elite or acceptable. Great job this year Sean, only 9 more losses. Getting better"

Jefferson's reply: "You’re an idiot on so many levels. Too many to begin. YOU KNOW NOTHING. Your knowledge is that of a child and when adults are speaking children should be quiet and learn."

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Richard Jefferson criticizes Arizona's search to replace Sean Miller