- Tubby Smith (Minnesota) - Name mentioned with UVA, UGA, Arizona and Bama jobs. Tubby's wife is from North Carolina, and Tubby is from Virginia. He also coached at VCU for 7 years. He's one of the top candidates to fill the Cav's opening if he's interested. Arizona should have their job open by Sunday night at the latest so Tubby is about to be Ground Zero for coaching hot stove talk. Any movement regarding Tubby will be very public given the media attention from around the country.
- Anthony Grant (VCU) - Mentioned mainly with UGA and UVA. I watched the UCLA vs. VCU game last night and felt better about some issues with Grant, but other concerns were confirmed. Grant's team plays with great intensity and tempo, and I liked their defense. It was also nice to see that Sanders is such a solid product because it means that VCU's key talent isn't just Capel's recruits. Offensively, he runs the same 4 out 1 in offense that Felton, Purnell and Hewitt run. It's a system dependent on individual players creating their own shots. It's not a pretty system for those who value ball and player movement. Grant wouldn't be a bad hire, but he's not who I would start my search with if I had $2 million to spend. Grant's team was in that game because Eric Maynor (who he didn't recruit) was the best player on the floor. I could live with hiring him, and I do think this is who we end up with. But it doesn't wow me. A killer press conference could sell me more. (Update: Mark Bradley has a man crush on Grant.)
- Brad Stevens (Butler) - He's 56-10 in two years as a head coach at Butler. They play an intriguing brand of basketball, but he's very young (32). He hasn't really been associated with our job, but he's one of the hottest mid-major coaches in the country.
- Lon Kruger (UNLV) - Kruger only makes $1 million a year. As I said earlier, he's a Plan B candidate at Arizona, and he's probably on the list at Missouri if Anderson bolts. With his regional experience at UF and the Hawks, he's someone that logically would get a phone call as a Plan B candidate in Athens.
A game to watch today is Tennessee vs. Oklahoma State. We heard an interesting theory earlier this week that if Travis Ford's Oklahoma State team beats Bruce Pearl's Vols; it might spell the end to Gillespie's career in Lexington. Many Wildcat fans would love to have Travis Ford return home, and beating Pearl would set their hearts a flutter.
I'm expecting Capel, Anderson and maybe Miller to still be in the tourney on Monday. So their names won't heat up yet.
By Monday, the rumors should be running wide open.
ht - rnb34