The buzz around Indiana’s interest in Billy Donovan, coach of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, continues to percolate in the background of IU’s coaching search.
While NBA sources continue to say they don’t think it’s likely Donovan would leave a playoff team and $18 million on the table for a college job, there are other indications IU would like to take a long look.
Two industry sources tell Peegs.com they expect IU to explore communication with Donovan and see where things go.
IU has engaged a search firm, which can provide an array of services, including communication more confidential than a college can assure on its own.
Donovan is in the second year of a five-year, $30 million contract.
When Donovan left the University of Florida to coach the Thunder, the franchise had two stars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durant is now with the Golden State Warriors and Westbrook has a clause in his contract extension, signed Aug. 4, 2016, that allows him to become a free agent following the 2017-18 season, if he so chooses.
A protege of Rick Pitino, the 51-year-old Donovan won two national titles, made two other Final Fours and had 14 NCAA Tournament appearances at Florida.
Several comments by IU athletic director Fred Glass have captured the intrigue of IU fans, and this is among them: “Resources won’t prevent us from getting who we want.”
(SEE ALSO: More on the Donovan chatter)
NO OFFERS YET
Blatantly false information regarding the Indiana coach search has begun popping up on social media.
Jordan Schultz of the Huffington Post on Sunday evening wrote: “Steve Alford has been offered a 7-year, $31M contract, according to multiple people within this fluid situation.”
No contract offer has been extend, according to a host of sources.
CREAN POTENTIAL LANDING SPOT?
There has been contact between former Indiana coach Tom Crean and LSU, according to Gary Parrish of CBS Sports.
An industry source confirmed to Peegs.com that contact was through intermediaries.
Whether Crean is hired or not is relevant to Indiana because his buyout with Indiana is $4 million minus any future income earned between now and 2020.
WINNING IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Steve Alford, currently the UCLA coach and a former All-American as an IU player, is another coach getting a lot of buzz in coaching circles and among former IU players regarding the IU job.
His UCLA team advanced to the Sweet Sixteen with Sunday's 79-67 win over Cincinnati.
In all, five coaches on the Peegs.com coaching Hot Board reached the Sweet Sixteen: Alford, Arizona’s Sean Miller, Xavier’s Chris Mack, Butler’s Chris Holtmann and Florida’s Mike White.