Sources close to the situation reported on Tuesday

By Allen Moff Record-Courier staff writer Published:

Sources close to the situation reported on Tuesday that the Kent State men's basketball mentor is Hurricane athletic director Paul Dee's No. 1 choice to replace Leonard Hamilton, who was hired to coach the NBA's Washington Wizards after leading Miami to the "Sweet 16" last March.

Waters spoke with Dee, Hamilton and other Hurricane officials via conference call on Monday after meeting with Dee last week. They are expected to offer him a deal reportedly worth nearly $500,000 per season.

Golden Flashes director of athletics Laing Kennedy has been negotiating a contract extension with Waters that would keep him at his current position through the 2005-06 campaign, with an annual salary in the $125,000 range.

"My knowledge is based on a meeting that I had with Gary Monday morning," said Kennedy. "At that point, he had not heard anything from Miami since their first meeting which I believe was last Thursday. A lot of things could have happened the last two days that I'm not aware of."

Other finalists for the Miami post are Tulane coach Perry Clark and Dwight Freeman, an assistant under Hamilton. The Green Wave finished 20-11 and earned a bid to the National Invitation Tournament last season under Clark, a close friend of Hamilton's, while Freeman was named the Hurricanes' interim head coach after Hamilton departed.

Dee is expected to announce his decision by the end of this week.

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