SPOKANE, Wash. -- Harvard Coach Tommy Amaker had to deal with the speculation in last year’s NCAA tournament.
It came up in the Salt Lake City sub-regional when the UCLA and USC jobs were open.
Amaker was reportedly very interested in USC but the Trojans opted for Andy Enfield.
If Amaker was distracted, it didn’t show as No. 13 Harvard shocked No. 3 New Mexico, led by the coach UCLA hired (Steve Alford).
This year the speculation has moved to Spokane, where Amaker’s 12th-seeded Ivy League champions face No. 4 Cincinnati on Thursday in an East Regional game.
Amaker has emerged as a possible candidate at Boston College, which just fired Steve Donahue after four seasons.
Once again, Amaker deflected questions.
“I’ll only comment on the job that I have and I’m very proud to have the one representing Harvard,” Amaker said at Wednesday’s pre-game news conference at Veterans Memorial Arena.
Asked if he would address the situation with his players, Amaker said: “There’s nothing to address. There’s nothing for me to talk about, to comment on.”
It’s easy to see why schools would be interested in Amaker. The former Duke star and Michigan coach has gone 138-70 in seven seasons at Harvard. In 2011-12, he led the Crimson to its first NCAA appearance in 66 years. Last year’s tournament win over New Mexico was Harvard’s first over a top-10 opponent.
Harvard players don’t seem bothered by the latest reports.
“We’re not surprised,” senior guard Brandyn Curry said. “Obviously, when the job opened up before, I think he was one of the candidates. And he’s a terrific coach, so, of course, people are going to want him. It comes as no shock, but we don’t pay attention to any of that.”