Basketball: DeCuire gets his interview

Associate head coach Travis DeCuire got his interview for the Cal basketball head coaching position and got another strong endorsement.

DeCuire, 43, met with Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour on Friday at the Final Four in Dallas. “I saw him after his interview and he was relaxed, felt it went well,” said Blaine Taylor, who coached DeCuire at Montana and later was an assistant coach for Mike Montgomery at Stanford.

Five days after Montgomery retired as Bears coach, little tangible news has emerged from Cal’s secretive search process.

Former Cal assistant and current Arizona associate head coach Joe Pasternack has been mentioned as a possible candidate, but has not returned calls to reporters in the Bay Area or Tucson.

UC Irvine coach Russ Turner, a former assistant under Montgomery at Stanford and with the Golden State Warriors, has declined comment.

Former UCLA coach Ben Howland is keeping a low profile.

Dayton coach Archie Miller, the brother of Arizona’s Sean Miller, said through sources he has no interest.

But Montgomery gave DeCuire, his assistant of six years, a ringing endorsement last Monday, and Taylor said he’s ready for the assignment. DeCuire started every game at point guard his final two seasons at Montana and still holds the school’s career assist record (435).

Later, he spent five seasons as an assistant to Taylor at Old Dominion.

“Travis has always had an intellect for the game, always had a passion for competition,” Taylor said. “In the huddle, you’re very aware of who has an aptitude for the game.”

Taylor said DeCuire’s experience at Old Dominion in Virginia gave him a national view and honed his recruiting skills. He also said DeCuire grades high on the academic and business side of college basketball.

“He’s more aware of things away from the court than some assistants might be,” Taylor said.

Jeff Faraudo