Source: Theus to meet with USC

Updated: June 18, 2009, 1:58 AM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

USC couldn't get Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon to take the vacant head coaching job but a second option has emerged in former Sacramento Kings and New Mexico State coach Reggie Theus.

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Theus is scheduled to meet with USC athletic director Mike Garrett Thursday on campus.

Reggie Theus
Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty ImagesReggie Theus was 44-62 in one-plus seasons in Sacramento.

Theus would fit Garrett's trend of hiring coaches with pro ties after hiring Pete Carroll from the NFL and basketball coaches with NBA ties including Henry Bibby, Rick Majerus and Tim Floyd in men's basketball and most recently Michael Cooper for the women's job.

Theus would also be a key hire in L.A. as a former actor and someone who possesses an engaging personality. Theus also has strong ties in the L.A. youth basketball community.

Theus was 44-62 in one-plus seasons in Sacramento. He was 38-44 in his first season and then 6-18 in his second season before he was fired.

A source said Theus was big on discipline in Sacramento and would likely sell that to Garrett.

Theus, who was applauded in the coaching community for leaving L.A. to work for Rick Pitino at Louisville, took over for Lou Henson at NMSU. Theus was an instant hit in the state, raising the profile of the Aggies over the more popular New Mexico. Theus was 41-33 in two seasons at NMSU. He was 25-9 in his second season, leading the Aggies to the NCAA tournament first round.

Theus would take the job if offered, according to the source, even with an ongoing NCAA investigation and massive defections from a one-time top five recruiting class.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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