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On Josh Pastner's contract, Matt Brase's input and Nick Johnson's choice for an Arizona coach
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On Josh Pastner's contract, Matt Brase's input and Nick Johnson's choice for an Arizona coach

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Georgia Tech Virginia Tech Basketball

Josh Pastner’s Georgia Tech team opened the year with some rough losses, but ended up winning the ACC Tournament.

Eric Musselman received an extension that was sewn up after Arizona showed interest in the Arkansas coach, and now Georgia Tech is moving toward an extension agreement with Josh Pastner.

Meanwhile, the UA coaching search rolls on.

Pastner is scheduled to earn $2.2 million in 2021-22 and $2.4 million in 2022-23, and the two sides have discussed extending it beyond then. Arizona's interest in him could add leverage on top of having led the Yellow Jackets to the ACC Tournament title.

Former UA guard Nick Johnson said in a text message to the Star that he thought the firing of Sean Miller was unfair, but that he would love to see the school hire an "Arizona guy" as a new head coach.

"There are so many good options!" Johnson said. "Coach Stoudamire would be amazing there."

Pacific coach Damon Stoudamire, a former UA all-American player, and Johnson two were together for one year at UA. Stoudamire was in the first of two seasons as an assistant coach under Miller in 2013-14, while Johnson was a player.

UA won the Pac-12 regular-season title and reached the Elite Eight both seasons Stoudamire was on staff, while Johnson was the Pac-12's Player of the Year on the 2013-14 season before leaving for the 2014 NBA Draft.

Meanwhile, Arizona has reached out to another former Wildcat for a discussion about the job: Matt Brase.

It's not a surprise, of course, that the UA would at least talk to Brase. Not only does he have a decade of pro coaching experience, there isn't anybody who has more Wildcat blood: Brase played and coached for Arizona and happens to be Lute Olson's grandson, literally growing up at McKale Center.

Brase held brief assistant coaching roles with UA and Grand Canyon before moving up in the Rockets' coaching ladder. He spent three years as head coach of the G League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers, coached the Rockets' summer league team in 2019 and served as a Rockets assistant until this season.

While Arizona's search drags surprisingly into a second week, some national criticism is springing up.

Gilbert Arenas says he'd pick Stoudamire and questioned the credentials of Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd in a conversation with Richard Jefferson.

That led to a response from Slipper Still Fits, a Gonzaga-focused website.

Gonzaga is paying Lloyd as if he were a head coach at a lot of places. In fact, Lloyd has even been making significantly more than Stoudamire, who is a head coach in the same conference.

Mike Bibby told Fox Sports 1450 on Monday that he wanted UA to hire someone who looks for high-character players and can get high-level recruits interested in coming to Arizona.

"I hope something changes to bring it back to how it used to be, when kids wanted to go there and they produced a lot of pro players," Bibby said. "I think we need to get back to that."

Bibby said he would like to be considered for the head coaching job, or any role at UA. 

"I'm ready," Bibby said. "I think I was built to do this, to help kids and help them get to the next level, whether it's overseas or NBA or something."

Hundreds of Arizona Wildcats fans went out to restaurants on Sunday afternoon to cheer on the women's basketball team in the national championship

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