Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Having Moved on From Steve Masiello, South Florida Looking at Dave Rice
By JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG
The University of South Florida was forced to move on with its search for a new head coach in the wake of the Steve Masiello background discrepancy earlier this week, but the Bulls certainly aren’t waiting around.
Multiple outlets reported late Friday afternoon that South Florida has offered its head-coaching position to UNLV head coach Dave Rice, which comes as something of a surprise as his name hadn’t come up previously in the search.
While Masiello’s deal was reported to be for five years and $6.2 million, Rice’s potential contract is said to be for five years and $6.2 million. Rice’s UNLV contract has three years remaining at $700,000 per. A proposed 2-year extension has not been forwarded to the Board of Regents. Rice, a member of UNLV’s legendary Jerry Tarkanian-coached 1990 national championship team and a 1991 graduate of the school, spent six seasons as an assistant under former Runnin’ Rebels head coach Lon Kruger.
When Kruger took the Oklahoma job in 2011, Rice was promoted to his first head-coaching position. In three years at the helm, Rice is 70-31 with NCAA Tournament berths in 2011 and 2012. This season, UNLV was 20-13 overall, 10-8 in the Mountain West Conference and missed the postseason entirely.
If Rice accepts the South Florida job, there would be big recruiting implications as a result. The Runnin’ Rebels currently have a 3-man Class of 2014 consisting of 5-star small forward Dwayne Morgan, 5-star shooting guard Rashad Vaughn and 4-star big man Goodluck Okonoboh.
Sources told SNY.tv on Friday afternoon that if Rice does indeed bolt Las Vegas for Tampa, Morgan would ask for his release and try to re-open his recruitment. Vaughn offered up a verbal to Rice in February and therefor is free to look for another school.
He cannot sign a National Letter of Intent until the late signing period opens on April 16. Since Tarkanian resigned following the 1991-92 season, UNLV has been to the NCAA Tournament just eight times with just one trip to the Sweet 16.
Photo: Associated Press
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