Big Ten

With candidates backing out left and right, who can Ohio State turn to in coaching search?

If Ohio State truly is one of college basketball's top jobs, it sure doesn't seem like it just days into the school's search for a new head coach.

After ending the 13-year tenure of Thad Matta earlier this week, the Buckeyes are getting nothing but public declarations of no interest from one candidate after another.

Xavier head coach Chris Mack tweeted his commitment to the Musketeers on Wednesday. Creighton head coach Greg McDermott did the same thing Thursday, pledging his intention to stay with the Bluejays after Ohio State reportedly offered him the job Wednesday night.

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg had to make his own lack of interest known Wednesday night after a report linking him to the Buckeyes started a brief Twitter firestorm.

The possibilities of more candidates have been shot down by various reports. Pie-in-the-sky options like Arizona head coach Sean Miller and Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Bill Donovan have been dismissed. And CBS Sports reported Thursday that former Indiana head coach Tom Crean, Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin, Providence head coach Ed Cooley and Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams are not in the picture at the moment.

So who the heck can Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith turn to in a search that looks more and more haphazard by the hour?

The latest buzz is around Golden State Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown, a Columbus native who spent a total of eight seasons as an NBA head coach with both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers. Brown has recently served as the Warriors' acting coach while Steve Kerr has battled health issues during the NBA playoffs.

Noted NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted Thursday that Brown was "on Ohio State's radar" but also that coaching at the college level "doesn't intrigue" Brown.

But the Columbus Dispatch reported Thursday that Brown and Ohio State will meet.

Another option could be currently employed at Ohio State: Matta assistant Chris Jent. Jent was a longtime NBA assistant and served as the Orlando Magic's interim head coach for 18 games during the 2004-05 season. He started his second stint as an Ohio State assistant last season, the first coming from 2011 to 2013. The Columbus Dispatch reported that Jent and Smith would discuss the opening.

Then there's one of the coaches who, along with the aforementioned Mack, seemed like a logical option from the get go. That'd be Butler head coach Chris Holtmann, who's done strong work with the Bulldogs and could be ready for a step up to college hoops' big time.

Things seem to be heading in a lot of different directions at the moment. Best advice is to stay tuned.