Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

April 3, 2014

Wake Forest interested in Tulsa coach Danny Manning

Tulsa coach Danny Manning toured the Wake Forest campus Wednesday, said a person familiar with the situation.

The person said Manning has interviewed for the job and the Demon Deacons have “significant interest” in making him their men’s basketball coach.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the school is not commenting publicly about its search for Jeff Bzdelik’s successor.

The former All-American at Kansas has ties to central North Carolina: he attended high school in Greensboro before moving to Lawrence, Kan., as a senior.

Manning led the Jayhawks to the 1988 national championship and played 15 years in the NBA.

He is 38-29 in two seasons at Tulsa and last month led the Golden Hurricane to the Conference USA tournament title and an NCAA tournament berth.

The 6-foot-10 power forward, who was taken by the Los Angeles Clippers with the No. 1 pick in the 1988 NBA draft, was a two-time All-Star during an injury-plagued career.

He joined Kansas’ staff in 2003 and was promoted to assistant coach in 2006 before earning his first head coaching position with the Golden Hurricane in 2012.

While he lacks lengthy head coaching experience, he has taken the Golden Hurricane to postseason tournaments in each of his two seasons with them. That includes an appearance in the 2013 CBI.

This year’s Tulsa team earned a No. 13 seed in the NCAA tournament and lost to UCLA in its postseason opener.

Wake Forest hasn’t reached the postseason since 2010, when Dino Gaudio was fired weeks after the Demon Deacons were eliminated by Kentucky.

He was replaced by Bzdelik, who resigned under intense public pressure two weeks ago after four mostly disappointing seasons marked by roster attrition and poor play away from Winston-Salem.

He went 51-76 with a 17-51 record in Atlantic Coast Conference play, and the Demon Deacons won just two ACC road games under his leadership.

Eight players transferred out during his tenure, which ended with a 29-point loss to Pittsburgh in the second round of the ACC tournament – the second-most lopsided ACC tournament loss in school history.

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