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Knicks assistant Kenny Payne passes on DePaul job

It’s now believed that Porter Moser, Dennis Gates and Jon Scheyer will be the targets of DePaul’s search.

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The DePaul coaching search is moving to its next phase.

Blue Demons first-year athletic director DeWayne Peevy has interviewed several candidates, but the primary focus for weeks has been on Knicks assistant coach Kenny Payne.

There has been a back-and-forth between the two, with many in the industry believing a deal was imminent with Payne, whom Peevy spent a decade with when they were at Kentucky. But Payne officially withdrew his name from consideration Saturday.

According to sources, the early process centered on Payne, Cleveland State coach Dennis Gates and Duke assistant coach Jon Scheyer.

Pacific coach Damon Stoudamire, South Carolina coach Frank Martin and Illinois assistant coach Orlando Antigua reportedly have been contacted regarding the job.

But with Loyola eliminated from the NCAA Tournament after its Sweet 16 loss Saturday to Oregon State, does the attention turn to Porter Moser?

Moser is the hottest coaching name on the market, and the coaching carousel this year is very active.

Moser reportedly is on Indiana’s short list. But does DePaul go all in on Moser, who has led Loyola to a Final Four in 2018 and a follow-up tournament run this March?

Maybe the question is, how does DePaul not go after the coach who is a little over six miles from its campus? And will Moser entertain DePaul’s interest, the step up to the Big East and the challenge of another college basketball rebuild in Chicago?

It is believed Moser, Gates and Scheyer will be the primary targets in DePaul’s search. But Moser does have options — and possibly more coming — including staying at the program he has built from the ground up. Loyola is financially prepared to do what it takes to keep its star in place.

Gates, a Chicago native who starred at Young in the late 1990s, just led Cleveland State to the NCAA Tournament in his second season as coach.

Scheyer is coaching legend Mike Krzyzewski’s associate head coach at Duke and a basketball icon in the state from his days at Glenbrook North.