Iowa State Cyclones

T.J. Otzelberger Listed as Potential Danny Hurley Replacement at UConn

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Houston

Rumors are swirling around one of the biggest coaching names in college basketball, and the fallout from his potential exit could have an incredible impact on the rest of the sport.

According to ESPN, the Los Angeles Lakers are set to meet with UConn head coach Dan Hurley on Friday and are prepared to extend a “massive, long-term contract offer” to the back-to-back national championship head coach.


Should their meeting culminate in an agreement, the coaching carousel that would follow could be massive, and at least one Big 12 coach could end up being a candidate to replace Hurley with the Huskies.

According to The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy, Iowa State head coach T.J. Otzelberger would be one of the top candidates to replace Hurley at UConn.

One would have to check with Otzelberger to see if he’s even visited Connecticut, but his effectiveness as a coach and recruiter never has seemed tethered to his Midwest roots,” DeCourcy writes. “In eight seasons as a head coach (South Dakota State, UNLV, Iowa State), Otzelberger has made five NCAA Tournaments, and two of his three with the Cyclones reached the Sweet 16.


“The 2023-24 team won 29 games and fell to Illinois by just three points in the East Region semifinals. They were the No. 1 defense in the nation according to, the team’s third consecutive top-10 ranking in that category.”

Otzelberger ranks behind Steve Pikiell (Rutgers) and Shaka Smart (Marquette) on DeCourcy’s list, and ahead of names like Billy Donovan (Chicago Bulls) and Shaheen Holloway (Seton Hall).

Would Otzelberger actually leave Ames to follow Hurley at UConn? Who knows, but having your coach’s name listed as a candidate to take over a program like Connecticut isn’t something to simply ignore.

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