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March 28, 2008 at 11:26 AM

Some interesting Pac-10 coaching speculation

There are now as many Pac-10 teams without head coaches as there are still playing games, meaning what’s happening off the court is beginning to be as interesting as what is happening on it.
So here are a few links and thoughts to the games being played without a ball:
— Here’s the latest from Paul Buker at the Oregonian on what is happening at Oregon State. Buker reports there is speculation that Randy Bennett of Saint Mary’s has been offered the job but is waffling with his decision. Maybe he’s waiting to see if he’ll get offered the job at Cal, which also now is open and which by any current measure is the better of the two (especially if Ryan Anderson returns for another season. If that happens, whoever takes over could get Cal to the NCAA Tournament next year and be an immediate contender for Coach of the Year honors). If Bennett falls through, OSU may then turn to former UW assistant Ken Bone, now at Portland State. But as Buker reports, there is also speculation about Jim Christian of Kent State (a name I’ve heard for that job, as well).
— Here’s more on the OSU search from the Corvallis Gazette-Times, saying a new coach could be named late next week and also detailing some of the financial aspects of the job.
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News has a good rundown of names for the Cal job. He includes WSU’s Tony Bennett as well as a name that seems bizarre to imagine — Stanford’s Trent Johnson. But Wilner explains in this post that Johnson’s reported contract extension has yet to officially arrive and at the moment isn’t under contract beyond next season, meaning it would be pretty easy for him to move.
— As for Tony Bennett, he didn’t exactly take the opportuntity yesterday to quash speculation about his future (read his comments here). Maybe he simply felt that wasn’t the time to discuss it but not sure how reassuring his comments were to Cougar fans. Andy Katz of ESPN breaks down some of Bennett’s potential options here saying he might actually be interested in the Cal job (though that seems like a strange move to make) and would “have to listen” if Indiana comes calling. He said he doesn’t expect to be courted by LSU.
— Finally, Frank Burlison of the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports (in an item near the bottom) that former OSU coach Jay John could end up back on the staff at Arizona. There has also been some speculation that John may be in the hunt for the job at Sacramento State (where UW assistant Cameron Dollar is also a candidate). The Sac State job probably won’t be filled for 7-10 days. Burlison also reports that Jerryd Bayless is almost certainly turning pro while Chase Budinger is still 50-50.
All for now.

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