Stansbury Mentioned in Clemson Opening

The rumors have been flying this morning that MSU coach Rick Stansbury is a candidate for the Clemson opening. Jeff Goodman of FOXSports.com cites sources that say that’s the case. I have heard from more than one person inside the program that Stansbury’s candidacy is a real possibility. I’ve left a voicemail with Stansbury.

UPDATE: The Sporting News has reported that Stansbury is considering an offer, and Tiger Illustrated (subscription required) has reported that Clemson officials met with someobody Saturday night in Atlanta concerning the job opening. Both of those reports align with what I heard a few minutes ago, that Stansbury had interviewed with Clemson and been offered the job.

The Tiger Illustrated story said that Clemson AD Terry Don Phillips and his right-hand man in this search, Bill D’Andrea, have been locked behind closed doors this morning. Larry Williams, who reported the story, told me that gives him the impression they’re close on a hire, otherwise they’d be out interviewing more candidates.

We could very well know something one way or the other before day’s end. Perhaps very soon.

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Clemson has already interviewed several coaches in trying to replace Oliver Purnell, who left to take the DePaul job. This past season, Clemson was 21-11 overall, 9-7 in the always tough ACC, and the Tigers lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive year.

Stansbury has been at MSU 12 seasons after serving as an assistant for eight years. He’s the program’s all-time wins leader with 256 wins. The Bulldogs went 24-12 and lost in the second round of the NIT this year.

Would a move to Clemson make sense for Stansbury? Well, it would be closer to his native Kentucky, but the ACC is a tougher league year in and year out than the SEC, and Clemson does not have a rich tradition of success. Only two seniors will be lost from this year’s MSU squad, albeit two really good ones in Barry Stewart and Jarvis Varnado. Stansbury has got Renardo Sidney ostensibly returning now that his whole eligibility mess is behind him, plus some other promising youngsters to mix with plenty of veterans. To me, it’d be a sideways move at best, but who knows what off-court things might lure him away.

Stay tuned.