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Former Kentucky coach Gillispie, Texas Tech talk

LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt interviewed former Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie in Florida on Wednesday.

Red Raiders spokesman Blayne Beal said Hocutt, the former Miami AD who took over the program this month, met with Gillispie in Palm Beach.

No announcement on who will succeed Pat Knight will be made until next week, Beal said. Gillispie, 51, who also coached at Texas El-Paso and Texas A&M, was fired at Kentucky in 2009 after two tumultuous seasons.

Texas Tech announced before the Big 12 tournament that Knight would not return next season and Knight publicly endorsed Gillispie for the job.

Texas Tech chancellor Kent Hance said he didn't know whether Hocutt made Gillispie an offer.

"I think they're going through the details and we'll see what Kirby does," Hance said.

Hance met with Gillispie last Saturday in Dallas and Hance said he got a "very good" impression.

A "good recruiter and a good salesman" is how Hance described the native of Abilene, a few hours east of Lubbock.

"He's very personable and I think has an idea what needs to be done in the basketball program and would be a good person for Texas Tech," Hance said.

In 2009, Kentucky fired Gillispie after the Wildcats went 40-27 in two seasons under him and missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 17 years.

LSU WOMEN: Two days after the Tigers did not receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, coach Van Chancellor decided to step down and take a position in the athletic department. Chancellor, who coached LSU for four seasons, will become a special assistant to athletic director Joe Alleva. LSU's streak of 12 NCAA Tournament appearances ended this season.

NIT: Malcolm Grant had 23 points and host Miami beat Florida Atlantic 85-62 in the first round. The Hurricanes (20-13) host Missouri State in the second round. … Jeff Allen had 19 points to help host Virginia Tech overcome the sting of not making the NCAA Tournament with a 79-54 win over Bethune-Cookman. Virginia Tech (22-11) will meet Wichita State in the second round. … Alec Burks had 27 points and seven rebounds, Cory Higgins had 25 points and host Colorado beat Texas Southern 88-74. The Buffaloes (22-13) face Cal in the second round. … John Shurna had 25 points and host Northwestern (19-13), in its school-record third straight postseason tournament, beat Wisconsin-Milwaukee 70-61. … David Kyles had 13 points and hit four of host Wichita State's 11 3-pointers to help the Shockers (25-8) to a 76-49 victory over Nebraska. … Jorge Gutierrez had 25 points and made two free throws with 14.8 seconds left to help host California (18-14) hold off Mississippi 77-74.

Former Kentucky coach Gillispie, Texas Tech talk 03/16/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 17, 2011 1:05am]

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