DePaul Basketball Notebook – March 12

While DePaul's men basketball season ended on Tuesday, there is still plenty to talk about. In this report, we have the latest on the DePaul coaching search and the possibility of a new arena in Chicago for the Blue Demons.

Home Sweet Home Chicago

WGN's David Kaplan wrote yesterday about DePaul's pursuit of an on-campus arena. He repeated old information from a Real Estate blogger saying that DePaul was looking into the former Finkl Steel parcel at the intersection of Clybourn and Cortland.

While it is true that the university continues to study possible sites both on campus and on the near north side of the city, has learned that the Finkl Steel site is no longer under consideration by DePaul. There are a handful of possibilities under consideration including a site in the North/Clybourn corridor.

Ideally the university will eventually settle on a site that will house a 8,000-11,000 capacity arena for the Blue Demons.

Wilson's Wish

Former DePaul forward and current New York Knick Wilson Chandler hosted a tweet chat this week. So we decided to pose the question to him, who should DePaul hire as their next head coach?

Chandler's reply was "Isiah Thomas, I think he would be good and he's from that area"

While it's extremely unlikely that the Florida International coach will be in the conversation for the DePaul job, it's interesting to see what Chandler is thinking these days.

Take Our Coach, Please!

Message boards in Carbondale, Illinois have been lit up by rumors that Southern Illinois coach Chris Lowery is set to take over at DePaul and bring assistant coach Lance Irvin along with him. Lowery led the Salukis to a 15-15 finish this season.

Not so fast my friends. This will probably come as a disappointment to some SIU fans, but Lowery to DePaul is not a "done deal" and he is far from a top candidate to take over the Demons.

By the same token, Dayton coach Brian Gregory is not a done deal either. Gregory's Dayton Flyers are 20-11. Gregory turned down the job at DePaul twice before. Some think the third time could be the charm for him. Yet as of this writing, Gregory isn't a key choice either.

Shrimp on the Barbee, Mate

Yet another coach described as a "done deal" for DePaul this week is Texas-El Paso head coach Tony Barbee. The Worldwide leader's Doug Gottlieb described Barbee as DePaul's next head coach.

While this is yet another premature report, Barbee does make for an intriguing possibility and is among the best mid-major candidates for the DePaul job.

Barbee, who was an assistant coach at Memphis under John Calipari, has the UTEP Miners ranked in the Top 25 at 25-5 and has now won 15 straight games.

If Butler's Brad Stevens is the author of the book "Winning with Undersized Teams", then Barbee is the author on how to win with size in the frontcourt. UTEP is getting it done with a frontline that runs 6-11, 6-9, and 6-7.

Barbee is well connected in the basketball recruiting world and could bring some big-time players to DePaul. Barbee is known to have ties to William Wesley aka "Worldwide Wes" who is an influential member of the basketball community.

There is no doubt that Barbee can recruit. The biggest question concerning Barbee would be just how good of an X and O coach is he?

Gottlieb also indicated that Barbee would bring former Blue Demon and current Kentucky assistant Rod Strickland back to DePaul as an assistant coach. Gottlieb is doing a poor job of connecting the dots with that one. Strickland and Barbee have both worked for Calipari, but at different times. There are other more likely possibilities for an assistant coach position.

While Barbee seems like a hot commodity, his team has dominated against weak competition. UTEP has yet to beat a team in the top 50 of the RPI.

That said, Barbee is a guy who can help boost his stock by auditioning during the C-USA tournament this week and the NCAA tournament next week.

The coaching carousel is starting to spin. Stay tuned to for the very latest off-season developments.

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