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Sunday, July 8
Updated: July 9, 12:36 PM ET
USC didn't want Bibby talking with Blazers

By Andy Katz

Portland Trail Blazers head coach Maurice Cheeks added Indiana University assistant Dan Panaggio to his staff on Monday.

The move came on the heels of Cheeks' failed courtship of Southern California head coach Henry Bibby.

Sources told that Cheeks, named the Blazers head coach June 27, asked for permission to speak with Bibby but Trojans athletics director Mike Garrett denied the request. Cheeks, who has a close relationship with Bibby from their respective time in the NBA, wanted Bibby to run his offense.

Sources said Bibby wasn't upset that he couldn't speak with the Blazers, but rather was thrilled to see the Trojans' commitment to him and the basketball program after USC's Elite Eight run last March.

Bibby has pushed to have the profile of Trojans basketball increase on the football-dominated campus and in a community that is more UCLA-centered. But Bibby's dream job is to be an NBA head coach after toiling in the CBA before going to USC as an assistant.

Instead of Bibby, Cheeks will lean on Panaggio, a veteran of more than a decade in the Continental Basketball Association. The two worked together with the CBA's Quad City Thunder during the 1993-94 season.

"Dan gave me an opportunity to coach many years ago, and I'm thrilled to have him join my coaching staff," Cheeks said.

Panaggio spent one season on coach Mike Davis' staff at Indiana. Panaggio was an integral part of the Hoosiers staff during Davis' interim season. Davis brought Panaggio in to replace Pat Knight, who left after his father, Bob Knight, was fired as coach at Indiana last September.

Also, Tony Brown, an assistant coach with the Blazers the last four seasons, joined the Detroit Pistons in the same capacity, it was announced Monday.

Brown, who played seven years in the NBA, was an NBA and college scout for the Milwaukee Bucks before joining Portland.

Davis was named the head coach in April. Davis bumped up new assistant Jim Thomas to a recruiting position to join assistant John Treloar. Davis now will look for a third coach, who will likely be a workout specialist and/or tactician like Panaggio.

Panaggio is the second NCAA Division I coach to move to the NBA this offseason after Missouri-Kansas City head coach Dean Demopoulos became an assistant with Seattle.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at

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