Hoops coaching candiate takes a pass

OSU REMAINS IN seach of a new mens' basketball coach after San Diego's Billy Grier said he turned down an offer from Oregon State on Thursday. Grier said he couldn't see his way past leaving San Diego after one season as the reason for deciding against coming to Corvallis.

The possibility (or was that probability?) Grier would be coming to Corvallis had media tongues wagging overtime in recent days, but all for naught.

"[I] had a great opportunity to go to Oregon State," Grier told ESPN.com Thursday. "But ultimately it was hard to leave here after one year."

The latest candidates speculated to be in the mix include Ken Bone and head man at Portland State, Rob Hunter at Indiana University/Purdue University/Indianapolis -- or IUPUI for short, if you can believe it.

Interestingly, former Bruin coach and current broadcaster Steve Lavin told the Oregonian this week he would be interested in talking to Oregon State.

"Yeah, I would've been intrigued. You know, any position on the West Coast and the Pac-10 in particular, naturally would be intriguing. ... I really enjoy my work with ABC and ESPN, and it would really take a great fit to leave."

Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said last week he was no longer a candidate for the position.

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