Steve Bilsky, athletic director at George Washington University, said yesterday he has narrowed his search for a basketball coach to "eight or nine" candidates, whom he wouldn't identify.

It was learned that head coaches Bob Dukiet of St. Peter's, John Kuester of Boston University, Jim Calhoun of Northeastern, Tom Schneider of Lehigh and John Griffin of Siena are among those under consideration.

Others are Mike Cohen, assistant to the resigned Gerry Gimelstob at GW; Jim Larranaga, Virginia assistant; Don Casey, an assistant at Notre Dame and former head coach at Temple, and Perry Clark, an assistant at Georgia Tech.

GW's deadline for applications was yesterday, and Bilsky told Washington Post staff writer Mark Asher he has yet to cull a list, although sources in the coaching ranks say Dukiet and Kuester are on it. "To say anyone is a leading candidate at this time is wrong," Bilsky said . . .

J.D. Barnett has resigned as Virginia Commonwealth basketball coach to become coach at the University of Tulsa. Barnett, whose six-year record at VCU is 132-48 with five NCAA tournament appearances the past six seasons, accepted a five-year contract . . .

Terry Brent, a 6-foot-6, 190-pound forward from Forestville High School in Prince George's County, and Jerome Cooper, 6-7, 205, of Chowan Junior College in Murfreesboro, N.C., announced they will play basketball at American University next season. Brent averaged 23 points and 10 rebounds as Forestville won the Maryland AA championship . . . George Burgin, a 7-footer who blossomed from JV as a junior to a regular (14 points, 11 rebounds a game) as a senior at W.T. Woodson High in Fairfax, has accepted a scholarship to attend Duke, according to Woodson Coach Red Jenkins . . .

Duke-pledged Danny Ferry of DeMatha has been named national high school player of the year and John Wood of 31-0 Spingarn national high school coach of the year by USA Today.