Memphis coaching search now focused on Texas Tech’s Tubby Smith

Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith has emerged as a candidate for the opening at Memphis. (USATSI)
Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith has emerged as the top candidate for the opening at Memphis. (USATSI)

Texas Tech’s Tubby Smith has emerged as the top candidate at Memphis and could be named the school’s new coach in the next 24 hours, a source has told CBS Sports.

“I’ll be surprised, at this point, if it’s not Tubby,” one source said.

Memphis is trying to replace Josh Pastner.

Pastner left last week to be Georgia Tech’s head coach.

Though names like Gregg Marshall and Buzz Williams have been mentioned as high-profile possibilities, a source told CBS Sports that Memphis officials were certain from the jump they couldn’t do enough to lure Marshall from Wichita State, and they’re also skeptical they could lure Williams from Virginia Tech — though a source told CBS Sports that Memphis has at least tried to gauge Williams’ level of possible interest, to some degree. Regardless, the school is now focused on candidates it feels it can reasonably expect to hire, and Smith headlines that list, a source told CBS Sports early Wednesday.

Smith, 64, has been at Texas Tech for three seasons.

He’s guided five different schools to the NCAA Tournament.

He won a national championship at Kentucky in 1998.

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