Who Is In Line For the Missouri Job?

Who will land the Missouri head coaching job? Can any coaches in the area be considered?

His name appeared at or near the top of so many "coaches on the hot seat" lists coming into this season that most of those who follow college basketball closely probably looked upon Quin Snyder as a figurative interim coach of sorts at the University of Missouri.

That assumption proved correct – until Friday, that is, when it was announced that the former Duke point guard and assistant coach at his alma mater had resigned, effective immediately, as the head coach of the 10-11 (3-7 in the Big 12) Tigers.

After leading his first four teams to NCAA Tournaments (including a West Regional final loss to Oklahoma in 2002), the overall record has been just 42-42, including losses in the last six games he coached for the Tigers.

There were much-publicized NCAA and university investigations into his program, with his two top assistants (Lane Odom and Tony Harvey) – who had helped recruit the players that got the program so close to a Final Four in 2002 – eventually departing.

As the talent level slipped with each passing season, so did the program's records. A 3-1 start (including wins over Oklahoma State, Kansas and Oklahoma), despite what was the leanest talent he'd had in Columbia, led some to think that maybe Snyder – especially during what is clearly a "down" season in the Big 12 – might escape the hot seat after all.

Six consecutive defeats – by an average margin of 18 points – dashed that notion. Does anyone else wonder how things might have been different for Snyder if he had accepted then-Washington athletic director Barbara Hedges' offer to become the Huskies' coach after Missouri had lost to the Sooners in that 2002 regional final in San Jose, Calif.?

It's something to ponder – which, undoubtedly, Snyder has done more than a few times. You can trot out a litany of names for candidates to replace Snyder (now-interim coach Melvin Watkins certainly shouldn't be one of them, based on the expectation levels that exist among those who support the program; remember, he joined Snyder's staff after being fired at Texas A&M).

Rick Majerus, in his second year as a television commentator, will certainly be sounded out about his interest in the job – if he hasn't been, already.

And most of the "hot names" will be bantered about, including those residing at the schools in the upper-half of the Missouri Valley Conference – especially, Dana Altman (Creighton) and Greg McDermott (Northern Iowa).

Inducted into the USBWA Hall of Fame last April, Frank Burlison is Scout.com's national basketball expert and is also a columnist for the Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram. He can be reached at frank.burlison@presstelegram.com. Read more of Burlison's pieces at www.FrankHoops.com

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