Ohio State Director of Athletics Gene Smith appears to be working quickly in finding a replacement for fired Buckeye basketball coach Thad Matta. Smith, according to multiple reports, has zeroed in on several candidates. One candidate, Creighton head coach Greg McDermott, may be the top choice if you believe ESPN's Jeff Goodman.
McDermott's coaching resume at Creighton has been solid. In seven years at the school, he is 166-82 (.669). His best years were when his son, now Chicago Bulls forward Doug McDermott was an All-American. From 2011-14, Creighton went 84-22 and was an NCAA tournament team every year. In the three years since then however Creighton is 59-44 and made the tournament just once--this past year when the Bluejays went 25-10.
In addition to Goodman's report, the Columbus Dispatch had a story from basketball beat writer Adam Jardy that says Smith is "still working through a long list of candidates."
Among the other candidates cited is former Cleveland Cavaliers coach and current Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Brown. Jardy's story indicates that Smith may be heading up to Cleveland, where the Warriors are playing the Cavs in the NBA Finals, to talk with Brown about the Ohio State position. WTVN confirmed yesterday that current Buckeye assistant Chris Jent has met with Smith about the job. Another candidate mentioned Wednesday is former Iowa State coach and current Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg.
After reports of Hoiberg's candidacy surfaced, he was contacted by the Chicago Tribune's K.J. Johnson. "Any time your name is associated with a great job, it's an honor," Hoiberg told the Tribune. "But I'm coach of the Bulls and have no intention of leaving."
Other names that have been tied to the Buckeye coaching job in various media reports include West Virginia's Bob Huggins, Virginia Tech's Buzz Williams and South Carolina's Frank Martin. Additionally, candidates like Xavier's Chris Mack and Arizona's Sean Miller have indicated that they are not interested.