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Why This Is Important Week In SLU Basketball Coaching Search

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-  Some new names have been added to speculation surrounding Saint Louis University’s search for a new head men’s basketball coach, and several factors could lead to this being the week something gets done. A look at who’s who, and why this week is one to watch, especially for particular candidates:

BRYCE DREW (VALPARAISO)– Drew’s Crusaders are still alive in the postseason NIT, and play in the semifinals Tuesday.  A possible championship game looms Thursday. If he remains on SLU’s wishlist, he has to have sent some signals to the right people that he’s willing to talk about the Bills’ job once his team’s season is over. The problem is that he may very well be a candidate at places like Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt. Kevin Stallings, once an intriguing possibility for SLU, took the Pitt job over the weekend.

LEON RICE (BOISE STATE)- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Idaho Statesman report that the Broncos’ Head Coach interviewed for the job last week. Rice is a longtime assistant at Gonzaga, like SLU a Jesuit institution so he’d have a handle on some of the expectations which come with the school.  The Statesman reports that he has a $200,000 buyout if he leaves before March 31 and $210,000 afterward.

RODNEY TERRY (FRESNO STATE) CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish reports that Terry is connected with this search. He has no obvious connections to the area. The bulk of his experience came on Rick Barnes’ Texas staff, although one of his assistants, Byron Jones, has ties to the Kansas City area high school scene.

TRAVIS FORD- The former OK State coach is now believed to have interviewed for the post a second time, according to the Post-Dispatch. His name appears to be quiet elsewhere on the coaching carousel.

JOE DOOLEY (FGCU)- Is believed to have interviewed for the job last week.

As the college basketball world converges on Houston for the Men’s Final Four, it is also a big weekend for the annual convention for coaches that coincides with the weekend. It is a place where Athletic Directors can interview  prospective head coaches and a place where new head coaches can go prospecting for assistants to fill out a staff.

Another reason to get this done this week is something alluded to here last week: more openings could come that have direct or indirect effects on SLU’s candidate pool, the biggest of which could be in North Carolina, if Roy Williams decides to ride off into the sunset if his Tar Heels cut down the nets next Monday night.