A report from CBS Sports has been confirmed in other circles, and the latest candidate for the USF men's basketball coaching job is Eric Musselman. And one USF legend thinks he could be a great fit on Fowler Avenue.
"I played against Eric in the CBA and then he was my coach in the NBA as well," says Chucky Atkins, the 11-year NBA vet and former USF point guard with his number #12 retired at the Sun Dome. Musselman was an assistant with the Orlando Magic during Atkins' rookie NBA season in 1999.
"I think he'd make a great coach from a few standpoints. First he has great coaching experience on all levels. In these times, kids want to know how you can help them get to the next level. If you talk about that and getting an education, you can really open up some doors."
"He's familiar with the Tampa area and Central Florida, and that's one of the things USF has to get better at... keeping kids instate and keeping kids in the area," said Atkins, who is currently head coach of his other alma mater, Evans High School in Orlando. "The area is so full of talent, and we need to get after some of it."
"I know him and what type of guy he is. I think he'd be a tremendous asset for USF. He's a very knowledgeable, no nonsense guy that will hold players accountable. That's what we're looking for right now."
When asked about what kind of system he could put together with the talent currently on the USF roster, Atkins said "the Musselman I know believes in pressure and getting up and down the court. (In Orlando) we got into guys and put pressure both offensively and defensively. Kids want to get up and down and give themselves a chance to look good. He can help them do that."
Atkins also thinks USF is in a prime position to build a program for the future. "The weather's good, the facilities are great now, it's a great conference. Kids are gonna come here if they can get a coach that can help them now and in the future."
Musselman has as diverse and deep a resume as anyone you'll find in basketball, ranging from the CBA to three years as a head coach in the NBA, back to the NBA's Development League, and for the last two years learning from Herb Sendek at Arizona State. Throw in some international head coaching experience for the Venezuelan and Dominican Republic national teams, and Musselman brings a wealth of basketball experience to the table.