It's Getting Late

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Sooner basketball head coaching search is more than two weeks old, prompting both ire and anxiety among Sooner Nation in a "What's going on?" situation.

First, Marquette head coach Buzz Williams, athletic director Joe Castiglione's expected frontrunner for the position, has all but fallen through when word came out that he expects to sign a new contract with the Golden Eagles before leaving to watch this weekend's Final Four in Houston.

Castiglione could make a late run at Williams, but it's unlikely anything would transpire from it.

Then, reports that BYU's Dave Rose and Memphis' Josh Pastner could be the guys for the job fell apart as well.

Rose said he was "not interested."

The 33-year-old Pastner signed a five-year contract extension with the Tigers for $1.7 million annually after guiding them to the NCAA Tournament this year and losing narrowly to Arizona.

And UNLV's Lon Kruger wants to stay there, although Castiglione could maybe sway him for the right money.

Still not likely.

All of this begs the question, "Why is this happening?"

It can best be explained by the fact that:

1. There is an obvious lack of talent on the team comparatively to other Big 12 schools--Yes, the Sooners have some guys that can score the basketball at times with guards Cameron Clark and Steven Pledger and forwards Andrew Fitzgerald, Romero Osby and Tyler Neal. But outside of that, there's not much. The Sooners don't have their Blake Griffin-like player that can just take over. Heck, they really don't even have their own Taj Gray-like player. OU really trails the rest of the league in terms of talent. Couple that with the fact that every team is now set to play every other team in the conference in a home-and-home scenario with Colorado and Nebraska leaving the Big 12, and it's that much tougher. This talent discrepancy is serious stuff.


2. There's a cloud hovering over the Sooners from the NCAA investigations--It's unknown whether or not there will actually be any consequences from the Oronde Taliaferro-Tiny Gallon incident, but it's still a possibility. Taliaferro contacted financial representative Jeffrey Hausinger, who wired $3,000 to Gallon, and later resigned, leaving OU in midst of this investigation. The Sooners still might not be slammed by this incident in any way, but this a gamble for any incoming coach to have this to worry about in the back of his mind.

So, that's why Castiglione's having so much trouble and it's getting very late in the process.

Now, on to some other candidates.

Perhaps Colorado's Tad Boyle. Maybe Wichita State's Gregg Marshall.

Virginia Commonwealth's Shaka Smart after the Final Four?

Who knows, but all of these are possible.

And it still could be someone out of the blue.

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