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Report: Rick Barnes a ‘serious candidate’ for the UCLA job

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Tough to see this happening.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional-Purdue vs Tennessee Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off of a 31-6 record in the 2018-19 season, Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes has emerged as a candidate for the UCLA opening, according to Evan Daniels.

The Bruins have had an opening since firing head coach Steve Alford on December 31st.

UCLA has been tied to several different candidates throughout their search, including Kentucky’s John Calipari, Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin and TCU’s Jamie Dixon. Could they really make a serious play for Barnes?

In just four seasons, Barnes has totally turned around the Tennessee basketball program. The Vols hit No. 1 for just the second time in school history this season, holding on to the top spot for four weeks. Tennessee earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the Sweet 16 before losing in a heartbreaker to Purdue.

After back to back successful seasons, is it possible Barnes’ agent is angling for a raise here? Quite frankly, nothing else adds up. Barnes has Tennessee rolling on the recruiting trail, adding back to back five-star commitments.

Would the 64 year old really want to start all over again? Tough to imagine that. For what it’s worth, Barnes’ current deal pays him 3.25 million per year at Tennessee. That deal includes a five million dollar buyout.