Is it Ben Howland, Kim Anderson or somebody else entirely at Mizzou?
Missouri's search to replace Frank Haith seems to be winding down, and it could be a search that brings former UCLA coach Ben Howland back to college basketball.
The Missouri Board of Curators has scheduled a meeting for Monday at University Hall in Columbia, presumably to approve a contract for the Tigers' next men's basketball coach. That seems clear. What's less clear, though, is the name of the coach Missouri will eventually hire because, on this search, there's been more bad information than good.
There was an early report of UTEP's Tim Floyd being involved followed by a report that Floyd isn't involved at all. Then Friday was highlighted by speculation by Mizzou fans (with screen names on message boards) that Villanova's Jay Wright was flying to Missouri to replace Frank Haith, as if it makes any sense for Wright, a Pennsylvania native with a preseason top-15 team, to leave Villanova to rebuild a program in a part of the country he's never lived.
Anyway, here's what I can tell you at this moment: In talking to countless people within the industry over the past 48 hours, the only names consistently mentioned by sources are former UCLA coach Ben Howland and Central Missouri coach Kim Anderson. To be clear, that doesn't mean there's not an under-the-radar candidate that could emerge hours before an official announcement because, remember, Cuonzo Martin's name was publicly unattached to the opening at California until he had already agreed to be California's next coach; sometimes secrets are kept. But I've talked to multiple coaches in the past 48 hours who have been publicly attached to the Missouri opening, and every one of them has said they expect either Howland or Anderson to be named Missouri's next coach soon, and, for what it's worth, I'm hearing Howland more than I'm hearing Anderson.
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