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Monday, April 7, 2003
Updated: April 9, 3:12 PM ET

UNC will want immediate answer from Williams

By Andy Katz
ESPN.com

NEW ORLEANS -- North Carolina hasn't offered Kansas coach Roy Williams the Tar Heels head coaching job, but when they do within the next week, the Tar Heels are expected to want an immediate answer.

Sources said that despite all the speculation that Williams to Carolina is a "done deal" by the majority of coaches at the Final Four, Williams has been honest in his comments to the media. One of the main reasons he doesn't have to say yes or no when asked if he's interested in the job is, technically, he hasn't been offered approached to replace Matt Doherty.

Kansas athletic director Al Bohl was fired Wednesday, which could make any offer moot at this point. UNC hadn't formally asked to talk to Williams, but sources within the North Carolina program told ESPN.com earlier this week that Williams would be offered the job with a right of first refusal, just like three years ago. But the difference is this time North Carolina won't give Williams a week to go home and think it over. The time he spent in Lawrence pondering his future contributed to Williams deciding to remain at Kansas.

North Carolina sources said Sixers coach Larry Brown would be next their next target, and they added that they don't want the Tar Heels to go outside of the Dean Smith family tree. If they were to do that then Kentucky coach Tubby Smith is the choice of the most influential former Tar Heels players. But that doesn't mean Smith would leave Kentucky for North Carolina.

Meanwhile, Bohl had hoped to meet with Williams and chancellor Robert Hemenway sometime this week to discuss how to make the Jayhawks program even better. The plan called for upgrading the facilities at Phog Allen Fieldhouse (new scoreboard, improved locker room facilities). Kansas wants to compete with Big 12 rival Oklahoma, which opened a state-of-the-art practice facility last year.

Bohl was the athletic director for two years, and had denied any rift between him and Williams, which continued to be widely reported in Lawrence and nationally up to his firing on Wednesday.

What we're also hearing ...

At Georgia: Western Kentucky coach Dennis Felton met with Georgia athletic director Vince Dooley and president Michael Adams over the weekend in New Orleans. This was the second meeting between the two parties. Sources said Georgia could make a decision as early as Wednesday. The Bulldogs are also considering Creighton coach Dana Altman and former Bulls coach Tim Floyd. But sources said Felton was getting positive feedback from those within the administration.

At Pittsburgh: Wake Forest and Pittsburgh native Skip Prosser denied to talk about any interest in the Panthers job. But sources said he is atop the Panthers list. Prosser's family could be lured back to Pittsburgh, even though Prosser has one of the top recruiting classes in the country and should be back in the NCAAs with the Demon Deacons last season. Prosser would have a tough call to make if he left Wake Forest after just two seasons. Sources said fellow Pittsburgh natives Memphis coach John Calipari and N.C. State's Herb Sendek aren't expected to be in the mix anymore and neither is Jamie Dixon. Dixon was the choice of the players and former coach Ben Howland. Dixon was Howland's associate head coach and will likely follow him to UCLA.

At Dayton: Michigan State assistant Brian Gregory is making a hard push to replace Oliver Purnell, who left for Clemson. Gregory will have the weight of Michigan State coach Tom Izzo behind him. He'll have stiff competition from Purnell's top assistant Ron Jirsa. Jirsa was a head coach at Georgia and has been a key member of the staff in helping Purnell get the Flyers into the NCAAs. Drexel's Bruiser Flint, who was a student at Saint Joseph's when the Dayton president was at the school, could also get an interview.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.



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