Over the weekend the Missouri Tigers decided to part with Kim Anderson as the head coach of their program. Anderson struggled mightily on the court with wins and losses, and also off the court on the recruiting trail. All of that combined to lead to his dismissal as head coach.
Located in the heart of the state, Columbia is about two hours from both of its main recruiting hubs, Kansas City and St. Louis. While neither Kansas City nor St. Louis will remind anybody of Los Angeles, Chicago, or Washington D.C. in terms of overall talent production, both metro areas consistently produce good talent on a year to year basis.
Also it is possible to get some talent from other areas of the state. Beyond that Missouri being in the SEC makes it possible to dip into Texas and get players as well as even potential areas such as Memphis, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Arkansans.
Overall while the talent base isn’t elite from a regional recruiting perspective, it also isn’t bad. Plenty of quality players come up in the area on a year to year basis, and if the Tigers can land their fair share of in-state players and cherry pick some national recruits, they should be able to compete.
Helping them to compete is one of the better facilities in college basketball. Mizzou Arena is only 12 years old and seats just over 15,000 people. It also houses a practice facility, the basketball offices, and a quality weight room all of which are important for recruiting.
Having a nice arena and quality facilities to go along with being the flagship university in a state is always something that gives a good start on the recruiting trail.
If there is a bit of a problem with Missouri as a job relative to recruiting it is that it can be a difficult place to fly recruits in. While Columbia does have an airport, flights are very limited, so often times recruits would have to fly in to Kansas City or St. Louis and then drive to Columbia, which for official visits is less than ideal.
That limiting factor can be a problem, and also locals are still adjusting to life in the SEC. Most associate Missouri with the Big XII, and many local kids would prefer to play either in that league or in the Big 10, so that can be a bit of an issue.
Overall however Missouri is a school in which you can get players. Maybe McDonald’s All-Americans are going to be tough to get, but plenty of top 100 talent is there for you. Players such as Tyler Cook, Xavier Sneed, Juwan Morgan, Jimmy Whitt, and Ogugua Anunoby are just some of the in-state stars who have gotten away in the last couple of seasons that weren’t recruited at an elite level.
If Missouri can land even half of those kids it would have building blocks to a nice program.
Beyond that Missouri is a place that you can really work the junior college ranks. There are numerous quality junior college programs in the region, and if the goal is to have an older and more experienced roster at Missouri, that is another option that is there.
In general while Missouri isn’t one of the elite recruiting jobs in the country, its location and its facilities make it somewhere that players will come, and the next coach will have to capitalize on that potential.