Cal basketball coaching search: Ben Howland reportedly out, Travis DeCuire gets an important recommendation

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Rumors rumors everywhere.


It doesn't look like former UCLA head coach Ben Howland will be returning to California. John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Howland has yet to be contacted by Cal. Considering the Final Four just concluded and athletic director Sandy Barbour was supposed to conduct the majority of her interviews there, it looks like Howland will not be part of the process going forward.

Meanwhile, with regards to current candidates that are still in the picture, Jordan Mathews's dad appears to be all in favor of Travis DeCuire maintaining continuity and getting promoted to be the next coach to get a chance. Grant Marek of Rivals chatted with Phil Mathews about why it should be Travis who takes over Monty's mantle.


What are some of the attributes that make him a good coach, in your mind?

He's got great communication skills. When he recruited my son, he did a terrific job talking about the school and how they wanted to play. My son was already coming to Cal before Mike Montgomery even came to the house.

What are the benefits of maintaining continuity?

When I was at Nebraska, it was hard coming in after the former coach. It took a whole year to gain those players' trust. But in this situation, the trust is already there. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. You've also got five freshmen. Okay, the coach leaves, but you've got a chance to keep the guy that recruited most of them. And it's not like he's only been there one or two years - he's been there six years and is the associate head coach who trained under one of the best.

Now this is a really glowing recommendation of DeCuire. To be honest, I don't even think Montgomery has gotten that type of adulation from any of his former Golden Bear players (not that he would ever want it). It does make Sandy Barbour's job all that more difficult--if she is to hire someone else, that candidate would really have to be head and shoulders above the Cal associate head coach for it to really look good to anyone else.

With the lack of information about any other real candidates emerging for the job, DeCuire just seems like he's gaining the edge in the race to win the job.

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