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UConn Is Targeting This Top College Coach To Replace Kevin Ollie

Kevin Ollie passing the basketball during a practice.

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 04: Head coach Kevin Ollie of the Connecticut Huskies passes the ball on the court during practice ahead of the 2014 NCAA Men's Final Four at AT&T Stadium on April 4, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

UConn basketball is inquiring about a recent Final Four for its opening. The Huskies have reportedly contacted South Carolina's Frank Martin about the job.

Martin is on a list of four coaches that are connected to the Huskies job, per the New Haven Register. Rhode Island's Danny Hurley, former Indiana coach Tom Crean, and former Ohio State coach Thad Matta are also named in the report:

According to the report by David Borges and Jeff Jacobs, Martin some qualms about support for the Gamecocks program. The team made an unexpected run to the Final Four in 2017.

According to multiple sources, Martin, currently the head coach at the University of South Carolina, has been in contact with UConn. A fiery personality in the Jim Calhoun mode, he is signed through 2022 but is said to be somewhat dismayed that South Carolina hasn’t made more of an investment into the basketball program after last year’s surprise run to the Final Four.

Martin received a huge contract extension as a result of that Tournament run. He is is now signed through 2022-23, and has a large $15.5 million buyout.

That figure could be prohibitively expensive for UConn. The state of Connecticut is cash-strapped, and UConn fired Kevin Ollie for cause, which could be an attempt to get out from under his buyout, which is said to be around $10 million.

Ollie will fight that designation, according to ESPN's Myron Medcalf. If UConn loses that ruling down the road, combined with Martin's buyout, that would be a $25 million price tag on a coaching change, probably not something that the program can afford.

Martin voiced concerns about fan support and criticized the South Carolina marketing department during the season, after low attendance for a game against UMass. From The State:

“It would be nice if our marketing department helped us to get people in seats,” Martin said at the time. “It’s a little disappointing to continue to play, after the two winningest years in the history of the school, in a building with [4,000] to 5,000 people. It’s embarrassing.”

Frank Martin denied the story to The Post and Courier:

South Carolina coach Frank Martin said Thursday that a report linking him to the open job at Connecticut was inaccurate.

“Of course not,” Martin replied via text message when asked by The Post and Courier if the story was true. Martin is recruiting before heading to Atlanta Saturday and Sunday for a guest studio analyst spot during the NCAA tournament.

Martin, who just finished his sixth season at South Carolina, is 230–144 overall as a head coach, and 113-90 with the Gamecocks. He spent the previous five years as head coach at Kansas State.

[New Haven RegisterThe Post and Courier]