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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dan Wolken - What the coaching staff could look like

What the coaching staff could look like

Posted by Dan Wolken

Right now, the smart money is on former Rice coach Willis Wilson and former Kentucky/Arkansas/UNLV assistant Glynn Cyprien filling two of the three positions. They both interviewed yesterday with Josh Pastner and athletic director R.C. Johnson. Wilson’s experience as a head coach for 16 years would be a tremendous asset, and his reputation as a teacher of the game is well-known. Cyprien is a very good recruiter and has lots of connections in the Southeast.

Pastner appears to be targeting Jack Murphy, the lead advance scout/video coordinator for the Denver Nuggets, for the third assistant spot. Murphy was previously the director of basketball operations at Arizona and has a close friendship with Pastner. Murphy, 30, is considered rising star in the Nuggets organization, so it’s no slam dunk Pastner will be able to get him away from the NBA. Most of the Nuggets top players including Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin and formerly Allen Iverson, swear by Murphy’s individual workouts.

If that ends up being Pastner’s staff - Wilson, Cyprien and Murphy - it’s a high-major caliber staff without question.

The director of basketball operations position could go to a junior college coach. Matt Eisele of Miami-Dade College has been mentioned, as well as Greg Heiar of Chipola Junior College.

So, in other words, it looks like the process is coming closer to conclusion of putting together a basketball staff. There could be some solid news on the assistants by the end of the week, but there are also some issues with job postings, official hiring procedures, etc., that could delay official announcements.

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