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NCAA WEST REGIONAL NOTES

Coach Gregg Marshall a hot commodity going into Saturday's game

The Wichita State basketball coach who's been mentioned as a possible candidate for the UCLA coaching job said he's happy where he is 'and you can't buy happy.'

March 29, 2013|By Gary Klein
  • Wichita State Coach Gregg Marshall is one of several coaches who have been mentioned as a candidate for the vacant UCLA job, but he says he's happy where he is now.
Wichita State Coach Gregg Marshall is one of several coaches who have been… (Jeff Gross / Getty Images )

Wichita State Coach Gregg Marshall said Friday he thinks the UCLA coaching position is a great job.

"It's probably one of the top six elite jobs in the country," he said.

Marshall then rattled off the list.

"North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Indiana, Kansas and UCLA," Marshall said. "Those are the six."

Marshall did not say he was interested in UCLA or that UCLA might be interested in him.

Marshall's name has been mentioned in connection with the UCLA job. Other potential candidates, such as Shaka Smart (Virginia Commonwealth) and Brad Stevens (Butler), have taken themselves out of contention.

Marshall has become a hot commodity in this tournament as he has led ninth-seeded Wichita State to Saturday's West Regional final game against Ohio State.

Marshall, in his sixth year at Wichita, also made clear he is not looking to leave.

Asked Friday how he deals with the speculation, Marshall said, "I actually don't deal with it. I've been a head coach for 15 years, and at least 10 of those years there's been conjecture like that. I've made one coaching move in 15 years, so I'm not a jumper. I'm very pleased to be the coach at Wichita State, content, happy and you can't buy happy."

Marshall said he has never been on UCLA's campus, but had heard that Pauley Pavilion was renovated. Marshall does have a connection to the Bruins: He's good friends with former UCLA coach Jim Harrick, who rooted for the Shockers at Staples Center on Thursday night against La Salle.

Marshall met Harrick, a West Virginia native, when he coached as an assistant at Marshall University under Greg White, a former assistant coach under Harrick at UCLA.

Jim Harrick treated me like I was a BCS head coach," Marshall said, adding, "I've always tried to include him whenever I can."

On hallowed ground

Ohio State's LaQuinton Ross received a lot of attention in the last 24 hours after Thursday night's game against Arizona. That happens when you step up and make a tie-breaking three-point shot with 2.1 seconds left to keep alive your team's dreams of winning a national title.

"Basically, just a lot of phone calls, a lot of texts, a lot of stuff on Twitter," he said of the post-shot reaction.

Ross' shot on Thursday gave Ohio State a 73-70 victory over Arizona, advancing the Buckeyes to Saturday's NCAA West Regional final against Wichita State.

Ross, a 6-foot-8 sophomore from Jackson, Miss., said it was the first time this season that he took a potential game-winning shot in the final seconds.

Ross said he could recall watching Kobe Bryant, Robert Horry and other Lakers making huge shots at Staples Center.

"I definitely grew up watching the Lakers — I'm still a Lakers fan," he said. "I watched Kobe hit numerous shots in this building and other buildings that were game winners, so it was a great experience to hit one too."

gary.klein@latimes.com

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