College Basketball Coaching buzz
Andy Katz of ESPN is reporting that Oregon is shooting large by going after Gonzaga’s Mark Few, Pitt’s Jamie Dixon and Florida’s Billy Donovan.
Oregon officials have approached Dixon through back channels to gauge interest, according to a source in the Pitt program, but Dixon has expressed zero interest in Oregon and is fully committed to Pitt, according to the source.
With a strong recruiting class coming in 2010 and 2011, sources indicate Dixon envisions Pitt being a potential final four team in the 2011-2012 season.
Dixon is already on the recruiting trail, currently in Ohio tonight scouting the state playoffs.
For Dixon to consider leaving Pitt, a perfect opportunity will have to present itself and to this point there hasn’t been one. Dixon didn’t have any interest in Arizona last spring and the same goes for Oregon this season.
Pitt moving to the Big 10 and a high profile job opening up elsewhere is the only way college basketball insiders see Dixon entertaining the idea of leaving Pitt.
Mike Rice/Seton Hall
According to the New York Post, “Seton Hall officials interviewed Robert Morris coach Mike Rice yesterday, as the Big East school continues to search for Bobby Gonzalez’s replacement.”
“Talks were “productive, and went well,” a source told The Post last night.
Rice is among the top finalists for the Seton Hall job and he is highly regarded by Seton Hall officials because of his strong recruiting ties in the state of New Jersey.
Meanwhile, there’s been some rumblings going around that Pitt’s Brandin Knight could get some consideration at Robert Morris, if Mike Rice leaves.
One Robert Morris official I contacted today told me they will go through an extensive search, if Rice leaves, and that they expect it to be a coveted job.
RMU is expected to consider in-house candidates along with young up and coming candidates which has linked Knight to the job.
It’s believed that Knight will get a look from Robert Morris as the program tried to hire him a few years ago as an assistant, but Knight lacks experience and would be a risky hiring, which has many insiders considering him a major longshot.
Meanwhile, I’ve been told from multiple sources that IUP’s Joe Lombardi will be under strong consideration from RMU officials and that there is mutual interest from both sides.
Lombardi who was a Pitt assistant from 2003-06, is in his fourth season at IUP and has the Crimson Hawks in the semifinals of the NCAA Elite Eight tournament for the third time in school history.
Lombardi has strong western Pennsylvania ties and he has built strong recruiting ties on the East Coast.