Greg McDermott

Creighton men's basketball coach Greg McDermott said Sunday that a hiring a new assistant to replace Preston Murphy would happen “if I can find the right person that’s either available or willing to leave the situation they’re in at this stage in the season.”

Creighton coach Greg McDermott said Sunday that he will attempt to hire a third assistant before the end of the season, as it’s the right fit.

Creighton announced Preston Murphy’s resignation Friday. Murphy had been on administrative leave since March for his alleged role in the college hoops bribery scandal.

Yet during the past eight months, school officials never ruled out the possibility that Murphy could return, pending eventual assessment from the NCAA enforcement staff. So the Bluejays have been operating with two full-time assistants instead of three — Steve Merfeld, assistant to the head coach, temporarily took on some additional duties, as well.

Now, though, a permanent spot on Creighton’s bench is officially open. And it’s a vacancy that McDermott is working to fill as soon as possible. McDermott indicated Sunday that he already has a couple of candidates in mind.

McDermott said that a hiring would happen “if I can find the right person that’s either available or willing to leave the situation they’re in at this stage in the season.”

It marks the third time in three years that McDermott has searched for a new assistant.

He hired Alan Huss in 2017 to replace Steve Lutz (same position at Purdue). Darian DeVries left CU in 2018 (coach at Drake), and McDermott hired Paul Lusk.

But the timing makes this hiring process unconventional. Coaching changes in college basketball typically take place in April. The 2019-20 regular season began almost three weeks ago and the early signing period closed Wednesday.


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