Several sources close to the situation have confirmed that, as anticipated, former Villanova guard Chris Walker has emerged as the top candidate to succeed Patrick Chambers as Jay Wright's lead assistant.

It's the second time in as many years that Wright has had to replace a member of his coaching staff. In 2008, Brett Gunning left to accept a position with the NBA's Houston Rockets. Last month, Chambers left right after the Wildcats' Final Four appearance to become the head coach at Boston University.

Wright, who recently talked with the Sixers about their head coaching vacancy before withdrawing his name from consideration, couldn't be reached for comment yesterday. It's unlikely he will say anything until something is finalized. But all indications point to Walker as the one being targeted.

Walker, who graduated in 1992, worked for adidas and was the head coach of the AAU's T-Mac All-Stars in Houston before joining Steve Alford's staff at New Mexico 2 years ago. He's developed some very solid recruiting connections in that area of the country, which never hurts.

The Wildcats, of course, already have one of the most highly-rated recruiting classes in the nation arriving on the Main Line next season. They also have received oral commitments from two big-time players from the class of 2010. *