Thursday, March 23, 2006

What does it all mean?

By Tiger Fan

Surprise, surprise. Mike Alden and Co. still can’t do anything right. Despite knowing for months that Snyder would not be back next season and despite the fact that Snyder has been gone now for almost two months, the coaching search has turned into a circus. “Inside sources” are constantly leaking names, only to release statements later that say Mizzou is not considering that coach. Members of the search committee are airing their concerns in the media. And all the while, the Mizzou PR folks are… well… nowhere to be found. Here’s what we know so far:

Guys who are out:

Bob Huggins: After not even getting an interview from us (despite Sundvold’s pleading), Huggins has signed a five-year deal with Kansas State. If they end up winning a conference title with O.J. Mayo in a couple of years… (I thought long and hard about how to finish that sentence, but I couldn’t think of anything that would adequately express my anger).

Steve Alford: All kinds of people were reporting this week that he was interviewing for the Mizzou job. Turns out that’s not the case, he’s staying at Iowa.

Greg McDermott: Iowa State picked up Northern Iowa’s rising star. I’m not sure if we gave him a serious look, but we should have.

Guys who are probably out:

Rick Majerus: I don’t think he has “officially” been taken out of the running, but Sundvold’s plea to the media makes me think that it is a long-shot. That makes perfect sense, given that he may be the best guy available.

Mark Turgeon: Reports yesterday indicated that the Wichita State coach is no longer being considered.

Larry Drew: Rumor is that the former Mizzou player and current NJ Nets assistant coach is out of the running as well.

John Calipari: I think Calipari is just wishful thinking for Tiger fans. He would be a great hire, in my estimation, but I can’t imagine why he would leave all that young talent at Memphis to coach here. I’d be happy to eat crow if he is hired, but I don’t see it happening.

Guys who should be out:

Kim Anderson: It’s nothing against the CMSU coach, but the Big XII is now a coaches league: Bob Huggins, Bobby Knight, Bill Self and Eddie Sutton are all proven winners. Billy Gillespie and McDermott are coaches on the rise. Mizzou simply cannot afford to take a chance on a lower tier coach with this hire.

Jim Harrick: I hope Mizzou is not seriously considering this guy, but I have heard the name out there. Yes, he can win games… but he has been involved in scandals at UCLA and Georgia. If Bob Huggins is too shady to get the Mizzou gig, there’s no way Harrick should even get a second look – and he won’t.

Guys who should be considered, but probably won’t be:

Mike Davis: A great recruiter and a proven winner (How many Final Fours have all these MVC coaches been to?). I know he has struggled lately, but I still think he’s a good coach… and he’s still getting teams to the tourney, which is more than Snyder could say.

Steve Lavin: They run a tight ship at UCLA, so he was canned after a couple mediocre seasons. But Mizzou is not UCLA… we should jump at the chance to take a guy who coached his team to five straight Sweet 16s.

The frontrunners:

Reports today indicated Alden and Co. have narrowed it down to three finalists. Here are my guesses:

John Beilein: The West Virginia coach reached the Elite Eight last year and has proved this year that it’s not a fluke. So far, he’s done it all without any highly touted recruits. You would have to think that he could do just as well, if not better, at Mizzou with better facilities and an easier conference. Everyone wants to talk about his buyout, but if Laurie approves, it won’t be an issue. Assuming Calipari is not interested, Beilein has to be their first choice.

Mike Anderson: The UAB coach is the only candidate that Alden has admitted to interviewing. His “40 minutes of hell” game plan is lots of fun and crowd friendly… but I was a little concerned about his offensive system after watching his tourney games. Still, he would be a bad choice.

Dana Altman: I think hiring Altman would be a mistake. He’s done a good job at Creighton, but I don’t think he’s ready for the Big XII. The KSU hiring kicked things up a notch… the Tigers need someone with more tournament experience.

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