Northern Illinois continues to try to finalize a deal for a new basketball coach after its top two candidates pulled out of the search on Tuesday.

Ray Giacoletti, an assistant at Gonzaga, was the university's first choice but after he and the school could not come to terms on a contract he withdrew his name from consideration.

Later on Tuesday, after spending much of the morning on NIU's campus, Purdue associate head coach Paul Lusk also withdrew from the search.

The search continues Wednesday when Michigan State associate head coach Mark Montgomery will meet with athletic director Jeff Compher and the university hierarchy in DeKalb. No offer has been extended yet and Montgomery, who is also a candidate at Bradley and Loyola, appears to be in a solid position should he want the job.

Also still on NIU's list are Indiana assistant Tim Buckley and South Dakota State coach Scott Nagy.