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Skinner St. John's Talks On Hold; Fran McCaffrey Emerges As SJU Coaching Contender

Just when you thought you had this thing figured out, St. John's goes and throws another curveball at us:

After a day of talks with St. John's officials, Boston College basketball coach Al Skinner remains involved in the process, but is not the only contender. According to sources involved in the process, Siena coach Fran McCaffery has emerged as a leading contender for the job and St. John's officials have set up a meeting to discuss the opening created when Norm Roberts was fired last week.

Yesterday I mentioned McCaffrey as a possible replacement for Skinner, but now it appears that he is the leading candidate for both the St. John's and the Seton Hall head coaching vacancy. McCaffrey as a replacement for either Big East program seems to make a little more sense than Skinner. The former UNC Greensboro coach has put Siena basketball on the map in just five seasons, posting a 112-51 record in his five years with the program. He has led the Saints to three consecutive league MAAC titles and three NCAA tournament appearances (2-3).

In addition, if you look at Siena's roster, McCaffrey recruits almost exclusively from the Tri-State area (New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania). He's also 7 years Skinner's junior. 

As I mentioned though, McCaffrey isn't already without his suitors. Seton Hall is much further along in the coaching search process, so it will be interesting to see whether the Red Storm can steal McCaffrey away from their cross-town Big East rivals. 

For now, sounds like we are still in a holding pattern and we'll wait for Skinner to continue the conversation with SJU and the coaching dominoes to fall at Seton Hall, St. John's, Siena and possibly BC. Oh, the tangled webs we weave on the college basketball coaching carousel.