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At least one coach interested in UA job

Citizen Staff Writer


Citizen Sportswriter

We know who doesn’t want the University of Arizona basketball coaching job.

Southern California’s Tim Floyd. Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel. Xavier’s Sean Miller. UNLV’s Lon Kruger. Gonzaga’s Mark Few . . . Need we go on?

But is there anyone who wants the job?

Former NBA star and Sacramento Kings and New Mexico State coach Reggie Theus, who made a name for himself as Rick Pitino’s lead recruiter at Louisville, said Friday he was “absolutely interested” in the Arizona job, one he called one of the best in the country.

“I think it’s a great job in a great conference,” Theus told the Citizen’s Geoff Grammer via phone from California. “For me, with my ability to recruit the West Coast and all over the country, it’s a great job for me.

“And it’s a job I look at as my last basketball job.”

Theus, 51, most recently coached the Sacramento Kings before being let go in December. He was head coach at New Mexico State before that.

While an assistant at Louisville, Theus landed a number of top-tier recruits, including guards Terrance Williams and Andre McGee.

If not Theus, who should UA target?

Virginia Tech’s Seth Greenberg? His name was being thrown about Friday, but where’s the sizzle?

Why not Creighton’s Dana Altman or Clemson’s Oliver Purnell? Both are proven winners.

Altman, remember, has taken Creighton to great success – 71 wins and 30 losses the last three years.

Purnell has made Clemson a viable competitor in the Atlantic Coast Conference the past two years, with NCAA Tournament appearances in both seasons.

Purnell has gone 72-30 the last three years.

Arizona is running out of options. That’s where this whole thing is headed five months after the search started and a week after Arizona was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament in the Sweet 16.

I thought five months ago that Miller would be a very good hire. Still feel that today after Xavier had another strong season.

But it looks like that is no longer an option, as the Arizona Republic wrote Friday that he’s not interested.

Going after Floyd was understandable. He’s a good coach and had players (recruits) who may have come with him, which would have made next year bearable in what will most likely be a rebuilding year.

But Arizona is still searching. And searching.

Steve Rivera’s e-mail: srivera@tucsoncitizen.com

• Former UA players endorse Kentucky assistant Josh Pastner for Arizona head coaching position, 3C




Continued from 1C

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