Friday, April 8, 2011 | 7:30 a.m.
- Loaded junior class wows coaches at Gorman, waits to see what happens at UNLV
- Former BYU players recall Dave Rice’s impact, believe he’s earned shot at dream job
- UNLV announces official list of finalists for vacant men’s basketball job
- Livengood returns to Las Vegas today; coaching search hitting home stretch
- Lon Kruger says he doesn’t see Oklahoma as a rebuilding project
- Notebook: UNLV AD Jim Livengood’s coaching search heats up in Houston
- UNLV players, recruits react to news of Kruger's departure
- Brewer: Kruger leaving for Oklahoma isn't all that bad
- Jerry Tarkanian: Oklahoma's athletic department has deep pockets
- So, who's the odds-on favorite for Kruger's job?
- A look at Lon Kruger's coaching history at UNLV
- The coaches who have led the Rebels through the decades
A source close to UNLV's search for a new men's basketball coach confirmed to the Sun early Friday morning that no official decision or announcement will be made until "at least Sunday."
However, the goal of UNLV athletic director Jim Livengood, who is spearheading the search, is to hold a press conference introducing the 15th coach in program history on Monday afternoon.
The interview process with the four finalists for the job was not wrapped up until late Thursday night.
The first to sit down with Livengood and the UNLV brass this week was BYU associate head coach Dave Rice, who several sources close to the situation maintain is still in the lead position heading into the weekend.
Rice, a reserve guard on UNLV's back-to-back Final Four teams in the early 1990s and an 11-year Rebels assistant coach, interviewed Wednesday afternoon. He stayed in town until Thursday for the first day of the spring recruiting contact period, taking in yesterday's open workout at Bishop Gorman High alongside several other coaches.
After Rice, it was St. John's assistant coach Mike Dunlap's turn, with his interview not wrapping up until the wee hours of Thursday morning. Livengood & Co. were back at it by mid-Thursday afternoon, welcoming in Minnesota Timberwolves assistant coach and former UNLV great Reggie Theus. He was followed by former Oregon and Saint Mary's head coach Ernie Kent.
Theus, who was also considered a top candidate alongside Rice as soon as the job came open with Lon Kruger's unexpected departure for Oklahoma last Friday, last night called it a "positive meeting." He flew back to Minnesota late last night to scout for the T-Wolves' Saturday road game against the Denver Nuggets.
Whoever gets the job takes over a team ready to win right away, as the Rebels return all but two players from a team that went 24-9 last season and made its fourth NCAA tournament appearance in five years. There will also be heavy pressure to recruit at a high level right from go, as the local crop of talent in the upcoming senior class is deeper than it has been in years.
For more on this story as it develops throughout the weekend, stay tuned to lasvegassun.com/rebels.