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Reports: Two NIU men's hoops coaching candidates withdraw names

Published: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 5:30 a.m. CST

DeKALB – Reports suggest that Northern Illinois athletic director Jeff Compher ended Tuesday with fewer candidates to be the Huskies' next men's basketball coach than he had when he began the day.

Gonzaga assistant coach Ray Giacoletti, who many considered a leading candidate, has withdrawn from consideration, according to a report in the Spokesman-Review. Reports from GoldandBlack.com, a Rivals site that covers Purdue, and Indianapolis Star reporter Jeff Rabjohns stated that Purdue associate head coach Paul Lusk also has withdrawn from consideration. The Daily Chronicle was unable to confirm or deny the reports.

Two independent sources told the Daily Chronicle on Monday the four finalists for the job were Giacoletti, Lusk, Indiana assistant Tim Buckley and Michigan State associate head coach Mark Montgomery.

One source was Nate Rucker, father of NIU freshman forward Nate Rucker. The other spoke on condition of anonymity, which the Daily Chronicle granted in order for the source to avoid reprisal.

Lusk, who interviewed with NIU on Thursday in Chicago, was reported to likely be the Huskies' next coach late Tuesday night by David Kaplan of the Chicago Tribune. The Tribune later retreated from that original report from the former NIU men's basketball assistant coach, and instead reported Lusk turned down the NIU job.

Compher has not spoken publicly about the coaching search since March 11.

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