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USF Bulls

Musselman emerges at USF coaching candidate

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Published:   |   Updated: March 31, 2014 at 07:05 AM

TAMPA — Arizona State associate head coach Eric Musselman, a former NBA head coach, has emerged as a “legitimate candidate’’ for South Florida’s men’s basketball opening, according to a CBSSports.com report Sunday.

Musselman, 49, has been on Herb Sendek’s ASU staff for two seasons, helping the Sun Devils to a 43-25 mark, but that is his only college experience. He was head coach of the Golden State Warriors from 2002-04, then the Sacramento Kings in 2006.

He might seem like a curious choice for USF, but Musselman has expressed interest in developing a college career, even after his exclusive professional experience. His late father, Bill Musselman, was coach of the CBA’s Tampa Bay Thrillers who also served as a head coach in the NBA and the college ranks.

USF’s coaching search, engineered by recently hired AD Mark Harlan, already has taken some dramatic twists and turns.

Manhattan coach Steve Masiello was offered the job and signed a contract, but his candidacy was ultimately rejected when Eastman & Beaudine, a search firm retained by USF, determined that he had lied on his résumé and never received a degree from Kentucky.

Friday, UNLV’s Dave Rice emerged as a candidate, saying he had an offer. That claim was disputed by a source close to the USF coaching search, who said the talks never reached that stage. Rice was rejected as a USF candidate Saturday, the same day he received a two-year extension at UNLV.

jjohnston@tampatrib.com

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