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Mile High Sports

Smart turns down UCLA, Boyle next target?

If Tad Boyle wasn’t at the top of UCLA’s list of coaching candidates, he might be now.

It was reported yesterday that Shaka Smart turned down an offer to coach UCLA, opting to stay at VCU. Mile High Sports Radio’s Reed Marks reported shortly after Ben Howland’s firing from UCLA that Smart and Boyle were at the top of the Bruins’ list.

With Smart declining the offer, it would make sense for the Bruins to turn their attention to CU’s prize coaching jewel. In his three years with the Buffs, Boyle has won 20 games in each season, won a Pac-12 championship and made the NCAA Tournament twice.

Boyle has long stated that he loves Boulder and has no desire to leave, but the UCLA job is seen as an attractive one and the program may have the means to change to Boyle’s mind.

UCLA basketball blogs, such as BruinsNation.com, don’t list Boyle as rising candidate now that Smart has removed his name from the hat. Instead, they point to other coaches with more NCAA Tournament success than Boyle. Names like Brad Stevens from Butler and Billy Donovan from Florida continue to top the list.

Guys like Stevens might be seen as the “hot candidate,” but that doesn’t mean UCLA is not paying attention to Boyle. He has arguably completed the best three-year run in CU basketball history. If it’s not UCLA, it won’t be long before the is the primary target of another top-level program.

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