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CBK roundup: Kareem eyes UCLA job; Texas Tech contacts Tubby

The SportsXchange

Two big names are in the news regarding two vacant Division I coaching positions.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said he'd like to coach his alma mater, UCLA, while Texas Tech reportedly reached out to Tubby Smith.

Abdul-Jabbar told the Los Angeles Times that he'd like to be considered to replace recently fired Ben Howland.

"Like all Bruin supporters, the recent trend at our school hasn't made me happy," Abdul-Jabbar told the newspaper. "The players don't seem to be learning how to play, and haven't been graduating. We can do better."

Abdul-Jabbar, who will turn 66 next month, was the star center for legendary coach John Wooden in 1967-69, when the Bruins went 88-2 and won three NCAA titles. In the NBA, he played on six NBA championship teams and was a six-time NBA MVP while becoming the league's all-time leading scorer.

Despite having no Division I coaching experience, Abdul-Jabbar coached the U.S. Basketball League's Oklahoma Storm to the title in 2002.

As for Smith, he might already be in demand after he was fired by the University of Minnesota on Monday. ESPN.com reported Thursday that Texas Tech University officials contacted him about the school's open coaching job.

Smith was ousted in Minnesota after the Golden Gophers lost to Florida last weekend, failing to reach the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 after a 21-13 season.

In six seasons at Minneapolis, Smith posted a 124-81 record, earning just one NCAA Tournament win (over UCLA last Friday).

He previously coached Tulsa (1991-95), Georgia (1995-97) and Kentucky (1997-2007), capturing a national title in his first year with the Wildcats. Smith's overall record is 511-226.

Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie resigned before the current season amid an investigation by the school over allegations of player mistreatment and possible violations of NCAA rules regarding practice time.

Under interim coach Chris Walker, the Red Raiders finished 11-20.

According to multiple media reports, Texas Tech has already spoken with Indiana assistant coach Steve McClain, ex-Nebraska coach Doc Sadler, Oral Roberts coach Scott Sutton and Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson. New Mexico State coach Marvin Menzies spoke with Texas Tech officials but later withdrew his name from consideration.

As for Minnesota, multiple reports indicate Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg is a leading candidate to replace Smith.

Hoiberg spent 10 years in the NBA, including a stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves, before a heart condition forced him to retire. ESPN 1500 in Minneapolis classified the Golden Gophers' interest in Hoiberg as "serious."

--The Carrier Classic won't return to the USS Yorktown this fall after a failed debut last year, according to a Charleston Post & Courier report.

Last year, condensation formed on the wooden surface built atop the flight deck of the aircraft carrier, forcing the cancellation of the men's game between Ohio State and Marquette. Though officials for Morale Entertainment, the event's promoter, said they corrected the problem, organizers decided to play it safe.
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