Holder's Search Continues

As the search for Oklahoma State's new head basketball coach enters its second week there are plenty of questions but few answers. When will Mike Holder get a new coach hired? Does anyone really know which coaches are on Holder's list? Is Jamie Dixon his number one target? GoPokes attempts to answer a few questions as OSU fans anxiously await to see who is hired to direct the basketball program.

Question: When will Mike Holder get a new coach hired?
Answer: Everyone, and I mean everyone (including Holder, members of the Cowboy basketball team, OSU fans who have been searching everywhere for answers, and even members of the media), is hoping it ends soon. But Holder is not going to rush his decision just to get it over with. He knows how important hiring the correct person is to the future of the program. One media member said to me Saturday evening as we were leaving the Orange-White spring football game, "Hope to see you Wednesday." My personal opinion is that it won't be that soon ... but I think Cowboy fans would like to see that occur.

Question: Shouldn't Holder be in a hurry because the spring signing period begins Wednesday?
Answer: Yes, the spring signing period begins Wednesday and runs through May 21, but that is no reason to rush into hiring a new coach. Oklahoma State only has one scholarship available at this moment, and a new coach is unlikely to use it. The Cowboys return all but two players (seniors Marcus Dove and Tyler Hatch), and two players signed with OSU during the early signing period last November. High school standout Keiton Page of Pawnee, Okla., has said that he has always wanted to be a Cowboy, and nothing has changed despite Sean Sutton no longer being the head coach. Dee Proby, a junior college player from Angelina College in Lufkin, Texas, also signed in November, but he recently said that he wants to see who is hired. There also have been questions whether he would graduate from junior college, but he told me a couple of weeks ago that he planned to graduate from Angelina next month.

Question: Is Jamie Dixon going to be the Cowboys' next head coach?
Answer: There are mixed messages involving the University of Pittsburgh head coach. A Fox Sports report last week stated that Dixon was not interested in becoming the Cowboys' head coach. But other sources are saying that Dixon has some interest in the job. The big question is whether Dixon is willing to leave Pitt, where he just completed his fifth season as head coach of the Panthers (and ninth overall), and could possibly have his best team returning for the 2008-09 season. Dixon's Panthers could easily be a top-10 team next season. Dixon flew to California this weekend where he and his late sister Maggie Dixon were honored by their high school (Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif.). The master of ceremonies for the Knights of Honor Dinner Auction Gala was Jimmy Kimmel and Dixon was introduced by UCLA head coach Ben Howland (Knights of Honor Dinner Auction Gala). Dixon flew back to Pittsburgh for the Panthers' basketball banquet Sunday evening.

Question: The speculation since Self decided to remain at KU has centered on Dixon, Virginia Commonwealth head coach Anthony Grant, Southern Illinois head coach Chris Lowery, Washington State's Tony Bennett, USC's Tim Floyd, Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings and Memphis head coach John Calipari. But I recently read a report listing Oliver Purnell of Clemson as a possible candidate. Who is Oliver Purnell?
Answer: First off, only Holder knows if Purnell is a serious candidate (Oliver Purnell). The 54-year-old Purnell led Clemson into the NCAA Tournament this year for the first time since the 1997-98 season. The Tigers also played in the ACC postseason tournament championship game (for the first time since 1962) after upsetting Duke in the semifinals. The Tigers were seeded fifth in the NCAA Tournament and lost to 12th-seeded Villanova, 75-69, in the first round to finish the season with a 24-10 record. However, Purnell signed a contract extension after the season that runs through the 2013-14 season, which was approved by Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips (yes, the same Terry Don Phillips who was instrumental in getting Gallagher-Iba Arena renovated while the athletic director at OSU).

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