Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie reacts to a call during the first half of a second-round game against Saint Joseph's in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Nick LoVerde)
While there's been nothing definitive, it appears that Kevin Ollie will stay at UConn, and he'll get a hefty raise, too. But that doesn't mean the NBA won't apply one last full-court press to persuade Ollie that he should be coaching at the highest level.
According to the Connecticut News' William Paxton, "one franchise is expected to significantly step up its pursuit of the UConn head coach this week." And a source tells Paxton that things could progress "fast this week."
It's not clear which NBA team would be in hot pursuit; the Lakers and Pistons reportedly have interest in Ollie, and, along with the Cavs, Warriors, Timberwolves, Knicks and Jazz are currently without a head coach. But Paxton notes that it's unknown whether the interested party has a current coaching vacancy.
Ollie, 41, led the Huskies to their fourth national title last month, in just his second year on the job after replacing Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun. His ability to connect with his players, especially during the 2012-13 season when the NCAA banned UConn from postseason play, is an especially attractive quality in a coach, particularly in the NBA where the disconnect between management and the rank-and-file can often perpetuate itself in mediocre-or-worse basketball.
That said, there are no indications that Ollie plans to leave Storrs. He and the university are currently negotiating a new deal that would likely double his salary. Want further assurances Ollie seems happy right where he is? Last week, the coach tweeted, "Don't believe everything you hear!! Only meeting I have is with my team ... We are preparing everyday for greatness!!"