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Report: UCLA targets Butler's Stevens

The SportsXchange

Brad Stevens isn't talking about interest from UCLA in its vacant coaching position.

ESPN.com reported Thursday that the Butler coach is UCLA's leading target, but Stevens declined comment to the Indianapolis Star. He replied to ESPN by text, stating only that he remains the coach of Butler and that he wouldn't address rumors.

UCLA also has interest in North Carolina State's Mark Gottfried and Washington's Lorenzo Romar, ESPN.com reported. Both are former assistant coaches for the Bruins.

Another potential candidate, Shaka Smart, decided to remain at Virginia Commonwealth.

Bruins great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who has no Division I head coaching experience, told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that he would like to take over in Westwood.

UCLA fired Ben Howland on Sunday, even though the Bruins won the regular-season Pac-12 championship this year. UCLA ended the season 25-10 following a loss to Minnesota in its first NCAA Tournament game. Howland had a 10-year record of 233-107.

Stevens, 36, led Butler to the NCAA championship game in both 2010 and 2011. He has a 166-49 record in six seasons with the Bulldogs.

Next season, Butler will join the new-look Big East Conference, with Creighton and Xavier as well as the "Catholic 7," DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova.
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