Pitt’s search for a new basketball coach is wrapping up for the week.
What have we learned? To be honest, I’m not sure that anyone aside from the administration at Pitt really has an accurate answer to that question.
The thing I’m learning about coaching searches is that plenty of people are more than willing to give you information. The trick is to find out if that information is credible or has any legs.
Something else that’s very clear is that Heather Lyke runs a tight ship, meaning very little if any information is coming out of Oakland.
With all that being said, here are things I’ve picked up over the last 24 hours.
Following Arizona’s surprising loss last night to Buffalo, the trending name on Twitter today was Sean Miller.
Considering another early exit from the NCAA Tournament and with the black cloud surrounding his program, will Miller return to Tucson for another season?
The word is that if Arizona decides to make a change, it will be done in the next couple of days. PSN spoke tonight to a person close to the Arizona basketball program who told us that despite everything that’s happening, Miller is fully supported by the boosters, the new Arizona president and is loved by the Arizona fan base.
Sounds like Miller is safe, right?
That’s still unclear. Rumors continue to spread that Miller isn’t entirely happy in Arizona and the prospects of having a difficult time recruiting because of the cloud around Arizona could result in some lean years.
Miller is a winner and a prideful person, is this a situation that he can handle?
One thing that PSN has been told by multiple sources is that in the last few days, high ranking Pitt officials have been checking into the Miller/FBI scandal, the possible outcomes and any additional information that could be coming out.
In other words, what are some potential ramifications for Pitt? If it comes to it, is Miller a risk that Pitt can afford to take?
PSN was told tonight that there’s a possibility it might be a year or two until the situation in Arizona is resolved to any degree of certainty. With Miller potentially interested and Pitt doing due diligence, don’t be surprised if the parties meet this weekend.
This is name that most thought wasn’t involved in the search after he pulled his name from the Georgia job, but it appears Thad Matta is back in the picture.
Craig Meyer of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Friday that within the last couple of days, Matta officially interviewed for the Pitt job. Matta’s health was something that considered many but he obviously believes that he’s fit for the challenge of rebuilding Pitt.
Matta’s agent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
If Matta wants the job, he’s someone that has to be near the top of Pitt’s list, but significant questions remain about his health.
Odds and Ends
• We’re told that Fogler Consulting, which is the search firm that Pitt is using to replace Kevin Stallings has a tight relationship with South Carolina head coach Frank Martin. Could he be a name to watch? Stay tuned.
• Considering the big news today that eight members of Pitt’s 2017-18 team have asked to be released from their scholarship, it’s tough to imagine this coaching search drags on for very long. The new coach is going to need time to recruit and add players to the roster. Time is of the essence for Pitt.
• As I’ve written from the start, I believe that Pitt needs to hire a proven commodity and aren’t in any position to take a chance with this hire. In the end, Pitt needs to find a way to get a deal done with either Miller, Matta or Danny Hurley.