Matt Youmans of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Friday afternoon that South Florida had focused the glare of their head coaching search on Las Vegas, offering UNLV head coach a five-year contract worth $1.2 million per season. Word began trickling out late Friday evening, though, that the report was inaccurate — Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times revealed that no offer had been made to Rice. Knight followed up near midnight to confirm there was still no word of an offer to Rice.
What is going on in South Florida? After the school paid five figures to a search firm to find Stan Heath’s successor, only to then rescind their offer to the firm’s choice — Manhattan’s Steve Masiello — once it was revealed Masiello had not earned an undergraduate degree, it seems there has been a whole lot of confusion clouding the search and decision-making process at the AAC school. If there wasn’t an offer, why would USF sources refute the report hours after it first appeared? One would think USF officials would immediately shoot down the rumor, as it would hurt their chances with the actual candidates.
What really is clear, though, is that this is quickly turning into the weirdest coaching search in recent memory. Youmans followed up his initial report by speaking with UNLV’s athletic director, who confirmed Rice does indeed have a contract offer from USF, so clearly the people in positions to make the decisions in Tampa need to get together and resolve to stick to the same story. This search has so far been strange and handled quite poorly, and Friday’s back-and-forth regarding Rice’s non-offer offer could potentially impact whomever emerges as USF’s top candidate.
Steve Prohm announced on Monday that starting center Jameel McKay will not be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Cyclones take on Texas Tech.
“He’ll practice today because I want him in practice,” Prohm said, “but game-wise, he’s suspended.”
McKay did not make the trip to Stillwater with the team on Saturday, where Iowa State beat Oklahoma State, 64-59. Prohm has not gotten into specifics regarding the cause of McKay’s suspension, but it’s reportedly an issue with the way he has been practicing. McKay is dealing with a nagging knee injury, which may play a role in the situation as well.
“My hope is he’ll be with us on Saturday,” Prohm said.
Like the Coaches Poll, Villanova found themselves No. 1 in the AP Poll during the regular season for the first time in the history of the program.
And like the Coaches Poll, there isn’t much in the way of a consensus when it comes to who is the No. 1 team, as there are six teams that received No. 1 votes in the poll this week.
The biggest shock to me?
The No. 1 team in the NBC Sports Top 25, Iowa, received just 11 first place votes and is ranked fourth in the AP Poll.
They were ranked fifth in the Coaches Poll.
Can we get Fran McCaffery the love they deserve?
Here is the rest of the AP Poll:
1. Villanova (20-3, 32 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (21-3, 13)
3. Oklahoma (19-3, 7)
4. Iowa (19-4, 11)
5. Xavier (21-2)
6. Kansas (19-4, 1)
7. Virginia (19-4, 1)
8. Michigan State (20-4)
9. North Carolina (19-4)
10. West Virginia (19-4)
11. Oregon (18-4)
12. Miami (FL) (18-4)
13. Louisville (19-4)
14. Iowa State (17-6)
15. Texas A&M (18-5)
16. SMU (20-2)
17. Arizona (19-5)
18. Purdue (19-5)
19. Dayton (19-3)
20. Providence (18-6)
21. Baylor (17-6)
22. Kentucky (17-6)
23. USC (18-5)
24. Texas (16-7)
25. Wichita State (17-6)
DROPPED OUT: No. 22 Indiana, No. 25 South Carolina
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 23 USC, No. 24 Texas