The Washington Post

Missouri isn’t really aiming high in its coaching search

(1998 Associated Press photo)

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported late Tuesday night that UTEP Coach Tim Floyd “has emerged as a strong candidate” to replace Frank Haith as men’s basketball coach at Missouri.

Floyd, 60, would be seen by most as an upgrade over Haith, who left to take the job at Tulsa. He has been a head coach at five schools, leading three of them — New Orleans, Iowa State and USC — to the NCAA tournament and reaching the Sweet 16 with the Cyclones in 1997 and the Trojans in 2007. He has spent the last four seasons at UTEP after leaving USC amid controversy over the recruitment of O.J. Mayo. The Trojans basketball program received a one-year postseason ban after the NCAA investigated Mayo’s recruitment, though Floyd was exonerated in the NCAA’s report.

The Kansas City Star reported Wednesday that Missouri has reached out to former Tigers player and assistant coach Kim Anderson, who led Central Missouri to the Division II national title last season.

The big prize in any power-conference coaching search remains Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall, but according to the Star’s report, Marshall and his agent “had yet to be contacted by Missouri or any potential intermediary as of late Tuesday afternoon.”

Here’s a question: Why haven’t the Tigers done so?

If Missouri AD Mike Alden doesn’t think he can afford what will likely be a hefty price tag for Marshall — he’s making around $2 million a year at Wichita State and probably would want about $1 million more to leave, per the Star — that’s fine, but shouldn’t Marshall at least get a phone call from Alden or the search firm he’s using to find out? Shouldn’t Marshall, who led the Shockers to the Final Four in 2013 and a No. 1 seed in last season’s NCAA tournament, have been the first coach to receive a call? It just seems terribly un-ambitious.

After spending the first 17 years of his Post career writing and editing, Matt and the printed paper had an amicable divorce in 2014. He's now blogging and editing for the Early Lead and the Post's other Web-based products.



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