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Pitt Basketball Coaching Candidate Rumor Mill



As Heather Lyke starts her first major coaching search, expect to hear plenty of rumors of who might be in line to become the next head coach at Pitt.

Because plenty of misinformation can be put out there, Pittsburgh Sports Now is going to do its best to only publish credible information and not every piece of information that we receive.

That being said, here’s some things we’re hearing tonight from a trusted source concerning possible candidates at Pitt.

Tom Crean: Have heard from multiple people that he’s informed Pitt that he’s not interested in the opening. Due to his history with Pitt and his wife being a Pittsburgh native, he seemed to be a possible match, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Keep in mind in all coaching searches that candidates’ interest in a job can always change by changing the money being offered. If there’s a place to keep an eye on with Crean, it’s Penn State.

Danny Hurley: Depending on which jobs become open, Hurley will be a hot candidate. PSN is being told that Hurley is eyeing the expected opening at UConn, where Kevin Ollie is expected to get fired.

Louisville: A job that’s likely to have an impact on the Pitt search is the position at Louisville, where interim coach David Padgett may or may not be retained. If Padgett goes, look for Xavier’s Chris Mack to be the leading candidate for the Louisville job. Mack has been in line for jobs the last two years but has backed out at the last minute. Last year, he was offered the job at Indiana but declined at the last minute.

What’s this have to do with Pitt? PSN is told that if Mack leaves, Xavier’s top candidate will be former Ohio State coach Thad Matta, who’s also going to be a prime target for Lyke and Pitt. PSN is being told that if Pitt seriously wants Matta, they need to get something done in the next week or so, or they risk losing him.

On the list: Earl Grant from College of Charleston will likely be approached. Another name to watch for Ben Jacobson from Northern Iowa. Jacobson, 47, has been the head coach at Northern Iowa for 12 years and considered a future star in the coaching industry. His career record at Northern Iowa is 250-149 (.627) and has made the NCAA Tournament four times (4-4 record). The last name to watch is current USC head coach Andy Enfield. The native of Shippensburg, PA is in his 5th season at USC and after a rough first two years, has won 20 games in three consecutive seasons. Enfield was in talks for the Pitt job the last time around, and seemed interesting in the position, but talks fell through before Pitt hired Kevin Stallings.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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