Coming up on the seven to 10-day period FIU executive director of sports and entertainment Pete Garcia set last week for hiring a new basketball coach, there's no smoke coming out of the athletic offices wing of The Branch. The court's almost finished, though. You can go to my Twitter feed, http://www.twitter.com/DavidJNeal for that photo as I'm still having trouble uploading photos. Video still works, so perhaps I'll do a little Oscar Micheaux tomorrow when I'm out at Camp Mitch for football practice.
Florida assistant coach John Pelphrey didn't want to comment on any interest in the open head coaching position 5 hours to the south. Pelphrey played under Rick Pitino at Kentucky and has been an assistant under Billy Donovan at Florida twice. Between those assistant periods, Pelphrey was head coach at South Alabama (80-67, one NCAA, one NIT bid in five years) and Arkansas (69-59, one NCAA bid in four years).
If he's going to get another shot at a head coaching job, it'll be at an FIU or another Conference USA-level school. He's making $180,000 at Florida, so this job would be a bump in salary if not program profile.
Rivals.com reports that Maryland assistant Scott Spinelli interviewed for the job. Spinelli's been an assistant under Mark Turgeon at Maryland, Texas A&M and Wichita State. Pitino/Donovan connection? Spinelli played at Boston University while Pitino, who had just left BU, was coaching at nearby Providence and became an important prep school coach in a Boston basketball world Pitino knows well.
Spinelli earned just over $207,000 for the 2011-12 season, according to the Washington Times.