Cantu exploring coaching options

Bob Cantu’s days at USC might be coming to an end.

The assistant coach and top recruiter for the USC men’s basketball team appears to be a candidate for the head coaching positions at UC Davis and Fresno State.

A source close to the situation at UC Davis told the Los Angeles Daily News the school interviewed Cantu Saturday morning in Houston, where this year’s Final Four is being held. UC Davis officials have not confirmed this information.

Gary Stewart recently stepped down as head coach of UC Davis after eight seasons.

Fresno State announced Cantu is a candidate for its head coaching position, after announcing Thursday that coach Steve Cleveland had been fired after six seasons.

The news of Cantu’s potential departure does not come as a complete surprise. He recently said in an interview he had aspirations to be a head coach and didn’t know how much more time he would spend at USC.

“You want to have goals in this profession and that’s definitely my goal,” Cantu said. “When the right time comes and the right opportunity comes, I’d definitely like to look into it.”

Cantu coached the Trojans in this season’s Pac-10 semifinal game against Arizona, while USC coach Kevin O’Neill served a one-game suspension for an off-court altercation. named Cantu one of the top 20 college basketball assistant coaches in 2008. Nine players he has recruited have gone on to play in the NBA.

Before coming to USC, Cantu coached at Sacramento State and Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.