OSU basketball: Is the timing right for Doug Gottlieb?

STILLWATER — One of the more biting lines from Brad Underwood’s briefing with the Illinois media Saturday, capping his whirlwind fleeing from Stillwater to Champaign:

“The timing was absolutely perfect.”

Doug Gottlieb hopes the same turns true for him.

The former Oklahoma State standout player never got an audience with athletic director Mike Holder last March once Underwood was identified early as the primary target and swiftly hired. But Gottlieb could gain traction this go-round, as an ongoing fan favorite capable of galvanizing a bruised base, but also a candidate who’s willing to go beyond just talking the talk of loving OSU.

“So much of success in this world is about two things, fit and timing,” the 41-year-old Gottlieb said in an extensive phone interview Sunday. “I don’t know what anybody deserves, but I would like the opportunity to get in front of people at OSU and share my vision with them and make my case for the job.”

Fit, of course, was the major talking point a year ago when Underwood was hired.

The Iba connection. Midwestern guy with an appreciation for OSU’s history and tradition. During his introductory news conference inside Gallagher-Iba Arena, Underwood entered waving both hands in a “pistols firing” salute, much to the delight of the crowd.

Oklahoma State’s new men’s basketball Brad Underwood gestures as he speaks after being introduced during an NCAA college basketball news conference in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, March 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Now we know, the fit was a fake.

Gottlieb, however, he’s a proven fit.

OSU grad and a member of the Oklahoma State Board of Governors. The school’s all-time assists leader. Met his wife, Angie, a Drumright girl, while in Stillwater. Outspoken supporter of Eddie Sutton’s case for the Hall of Fame and a frequent returner for the program’s annual Remember The Ten game.

And just like a year ago, Gottlieb is openly and…

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