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LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva makes a point while officially announcing the firing of head basketball coach Johnny Jones and his staff at a news conference to discuss future of the men's basketball program Thursday March 10, 2017, in Baton Rouge, La..


Now that the NCAA tournament and NIT are well under way, the search for a new LSU basketball coach could gain some steam.


When fifth-year coach Johnny Jones was fired on March 10, two days after the Tigers’ season ended with a 10-21 record, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said the school would probably have to bide its time with its search.

At the time, he noted coaches who might come under consideration for the Tigers’ opening would likely be busy in post-season tournaments. As a result, those coaches may not be approachable until their seasons are officially over.

In the last few days, however, the coaching carousel began spinning a little more with the hiring of former Cal coach Cuonzo Martin by Missouri on Wednesday and the firing of Indiana coach Tom Crean on Thursday.

Both transactions could eventually have a bearing on LSU’s search, depending, of course, on whom Alleva and his committee have their sights set on in a nationwide quest to find Jones’ replacement.

Even the firing of Lorenzo Romar by Washington on Wednesday could be a potential obstacle for LSU officials since a single move can have a domino-like effect on multiple schools when the scramble to fill vacancies commences.

According to, after Crean’s dismissal there were 24 Division I schools that had experienced some sort of turnover with their head coach either during or after the season. Of that number, 20 had yet to fill their opening.

The only new coaches in place were Martin at Missouri, Grant McCasland at North Texas, Brian Gregory at South Florida and Maurice Joseph at George Washington.

Last season, a total of 52 schools made changes, either by firing their coach or having to fill the position, up from 40 following the 2014-15 season.

Not all of the openings will affect LSU, of course, although it’s possible that the Tigers could have some competition when it comes time to make a hire.

Reports have already surfaced that Nevada coach Eric Musselman, a former LSU assistant who could be on the Tigers’ list, might wind up being a candidate for both the Cal and Washington jobs.

Musselman, an associate coach on Jones’ staff during the 2014-15 season, has spent since 2003, with the exception of his one year in Baton Rouge, 14 years on the West Coast.

Included on his extensive resume are head coaching stints with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings.

As a result, Musselman could be in line for either Pac-12 job if he decides to leave Nevada after two very successful seasons.

Two other names that may be on LSU’s radar — VCU’s Will Wade and Dayton’s Archie Miller — could both be courted by North Carolina State, which fired Mark Gottfried on Feb. 14.

Wade, 34, and the 38-year-old Miller, who was a point guard at N.C. State from 1998 to 2002, are two of the hot young names in the coaching world although both have already made their own mark.

Wade had two successful years at Chattanooga and followed it with two big seasons since moving to VCU.

Miller, the younger brother of Arizona coach Sean Miller, has produced six solid seasons at Dayton with four NCAA tournament appearances — coaching his team to the Elite Eight in 2014.

In addition to N.C. State, Archie Miller’s name immediately was linked to the Indiana job Thursday morning when it was announced that Crean, who was already on the hot seat before losing to Georgia Tech in an NIT first-round game Tuesday night, had been fired after nine seasons on the job.

Other coaches that have popped up as potential LSU targets are Iowa State’s Steve Prohm, Minnesota’s Richard Pitino and Butler’s Chris Holtmann.

Pitino’s Gophers were ousted from the NCAA tournament Thursday with an 81-72 loss to Middle Tennessee State and former LSU assistant coach Kermit Davis.

In an interview posted on this week, Alleva, when asked if he was willing to get someone from a top-tier program and pay him accordingly, said the goal is to get the “best guy we can get here.”

“That’s what I want to get,” he said. “I don’t think money is going to stop us; I don’t think it should. I want us to get the best person we can.”

Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter, @MicklesAdvocate.