It hasn’t yet been a week since Minnesota fired former coach Tubby Smith, and yet the state of Minnesota is starting to reach a mild level of panic after the fourth “candidate” that has surfaced in a span of five days reportedly has declined the Gophers.
ESPN's Andy Katz reported via Twitter that the Gophers had offered the job to Saunders, but that the former Gophers player and Timberwolves coach declined.
Source: Minnesota offered the job to ESPN analyst/former NBA coach Flip Saunders but he has declined the offer from his alma mater.— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) March 30, 2013
Multiple reports Friday indicated that Saunders was the new leading candidate, and that the Minnesota athletic director was in Indianapolis – where Saunders was following Michigan State and buddy Tom Izzo – to speak with the current ESPN analyst.
Saunders has become a fan favorite for the job, but from what I have been told, does not have the profile that this administration was looking for.
I will say that I would be surprised if semantics got in the way of the hire. That's to say, either Saunders wanted the job -- and Teague wanted him -- or one of them didn't.
I will keep you updated on the ongoing story.