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Basketball: Did Ducks offer Tubby $2 mil?

Apparently Tom Izzo, Mark Few and Jamie Dixon aren’t interested in becoming the next coach at Oregon. Will Minnesota’s Tubby Smith listen?

The Oregonian reported that Oregon has offered Smith, the one-time Kentucky coach, a salary in excess of $2 million. Minnesota officials say they know of no such offer and Minneapolis Star-Tribune reporter Myron P. Medcalf reported this afternoon that multiple sources at Minnesota say Smith will remain with the Golden Gophers.

“(Smith isn’t) going anywhere,” one person close to Smith told the Star-Tribune. “Period.”

ESPN college basketball reporter Andy Katz suggested today that if all of Oregon’s high-profile targets decline, the Ducks will re-focus their energies on coaching prospects one tier lower.

If that happens, you have to figure Oregon will take a run at Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett. There could be some misgivings in Eugene over hiring a second straight coach from Moraga (Ernie Kent coached SMC before returning to his alma mater), but Bennett’s credentials are undeniable: 81 victories the past three seasons.

Although this was his third NCAA Tournament bid, the skeptics previously could argue he’d never won an NCAA game. Not anymore.

Bennett’s Gaels won twice in this year’s NCAA Tournament — something the school never had done.

Jeff Faraudo