P-D’s Dave Matter discusses Mizzou basketball coaching candidates

Kevin Keatts

Dave Matter joined The Press Box Monday to talk with Frank Cusumano about potential candidates for the next men’s basketball head coach at the University of Missouri.

Read some excerpts and listen to the full interview below:

How did you react when you heard the news Anderson was fired?

“Kind of surprised it happened on Sunday. I was told yesterday it had been building up to that point for both parties. I’m sure (Kim Anderson) wanted to get it over with for his players, for their sake. These guys read things and hear things…and probably want it to be put to rest, the weight of everything going on. I know Jim Sterk (Missouri’s AD) and Kim Anderson had been talking for a while. Anderson talked to the players yesterday…He’ll coach through the tournament, however long they last.”

On using a search firm to help find the next coach:

These ADs cannot resist using these firms. It’s to protect the process. They believe this will give them a chance to cover their tracks. It’s not necessarily to identify the candidates. These ADs know the industry. Different ADs have different uses for these firms.”

Do you think SLU coach Travis Ford is a legit candidate for the Mizzou job?

“Yes. I think they have. I think he’s somebody where there’s been mutual interest in that job. I’ve been hearing his name associated with this job for a while now. I don’t think he’s at the top of Missouri’s list, but I think he’s someone they’d consider.”

What about Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall?

“I don’t think (he’d leave Wichita State). What’s he going to be commanding on the open market right now is beyond what they can offer. He’s had other jobs before. He never says no to anything. His agents are open to talking to other schools. He ends up always getting a nice raise from Wichita State (and goes back there).”

How about UNC-Wilmington coach Kevin Keatts?

“I don’t know (if he moves the needle a lot). Everything that I’ve gotten (from people who know about this search…), they see that Jim Sterk is going to look at some high major coaches first. I think they need to generate some buzz here and hire someone who’s done it at a high level. That said, I don’t think it would be a bad hire at all. I don’t get the impression that that level of coach is where they’re going to start their search at.”

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