FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas men's basketball assistant T.J. Cleveland is being mentioned as a potential candidate for the head coaching position at Alabama-Birmingham.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas men’s basketball assistant T.J. Cleveland is being mentioned as a potential candidate for the head coaching position at Alabama-Birmingham.

Cleveland’s name is one of three “emerging in the speculation” to replace recently fired coach Mike Davis, according to a report in the Birmingham News.

Arkansas coach Mike Anderson, who coached UAB from 2002-06, was asked about the report and if he thought Cleveland was ready for a head coaching opportunity Thursday. He said the Birmingham native is prepared.

“I think T.J. would be ready,” Anderson said. “He’s one of those guys that actually played here. He played in the system in terms of the style of play that appeals to a lot of universities.

“And not only that, you talk about the type of person he is. I think his reputation speaks for itself. He’s one of the hottest young assistants out there when you talk about in terms of recruiting and we know recruiting is the lifeblood of any program.”

It’s not clear if Cleveland has had any conversations with UAB about the position or if he is the leading candidate for the job. Anderson said Thursday that UAB has not reached out to him about its opening. Anderson said he has not lobbied for his assistant, either.

Cleveland graduated from Minor High in Birmingham in 1998 and played four seasons at Arkansas. He joined Anderson at UAB as the program’s video coordinator in 2002 and was promoted to assistant in 2005.

He has worked as an assistant on Anderson’s staffs at UAB, Missouri and Arkansas the past seven seasons.

— Robbie Neiswanger