Quick hitters on coaching carousel

March, 24, 2011

NEW ORLEANS -- Some quick hitters:

• Coach Mike Anderson created a niche in Missouri with his style of play, but the Tigers were rarely able to take that act on the road. He managed to quiet the turmoil from the Quin Snyder era after his own first few rocky seasons. Reaching the Elite Eight in 2009 and the NCAA tournament three consecutive years can go a long way toward settling things, but now Missouri athletic director Mike Alden is in a bit of quandary after Anderson's departure for Arkansas. Alden has a potential Big 12 contender on his hands next season but can't hire a coach with a completely different style from Anderson's. He would be wise to make a play for BYU's Dave Rose, who is expected to be on the radar of rival Oklahoma as well.

Rose could stay in Provo, Utah, for the rest of his career and be very content, but he deserves a shot to coach at a higher level in a conference like the Big 12. Rose is a Houston native and is familiar with recruiting the Southwest dating back to his time coaching junior college.

If the Tigers don't go in that direction, Missouri State's Cuonzo Martin should be high on the list as well as VCU's Shaka Smart, who will be a hot commodity for a number of coaching vacancies from Tennessee to NC State and now possibly Missouri. So will Richmond's Chris Mooney, but as I said above, he might not fit the Tigers' playing style. Rose, Martin and Smart likely would adapt easier to this crew.

Alden can't afford for the Tigers to slip, especially with the talent that is in place, else some players could leave.

As for Anderson, his move to Arkansas makes sense, but you have to wonder whether this should have happened two coaches ago for the Razorbacks.

• If you're looking for a coach to pull a Herb Sendek and leave a team even though he's not in danger of being fired, the coach who may take that cue is Illinois' Bruce Weber. If Weber could land another quality power-six job, he should get a change of scenery.

• Good thing the Southeast Regional isn't in the Louisiana Superdome (which is under renovation), the site of the 2012 Final Four. The NCAA is expecting 12,000 fans inside the New Orleans Arena for Thursday night's games. That wouldn't look good inside the Superdome, which has a capacity of more than 55,000.

• Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett won't go to Utah after interviewing for the position. Whether that was his call is unknown. Regardless, Bennett has built a program in Moraga, Calif., that is now a consistent challenger to Gonzaga and should be to BYU as well once the Cougars join the WCC. The Gaels will have company, though, with San Francisco on the rise, Santa Clara improving and the always-formidable Portland.

Bennett has built a niche in the beautiful valley area in Moraga outside Oakland. The Gaels have tapped into an Australian pipeline but also have sprinkled in plenty of big-time talents like Diamon Simpson, Omar Samhan and of course this year's WCC Player of the Year, Mickey McConnell.

• It's amazing how the Utah job has become such an afterthought in the coaching carousel. It should make Utes fans appreciate everything Rick Majerus did during his tenure as head coach. The Utes were a few possessions from winning the national championship in 1998, but Utah basketball pales in comparison to the level BYU is at right now. Utah's move from the MWC to the Pac-12 sounds much grander than BYU's move to the WCC next season, but it may not be as significant. Any chatter of trying to get Rose to switch addresses within Utah is foolish. There's no way that will happen.

• Utah athletic director Chris Hill has done an outstanding job of hiring football coaches, but he'd better get this college basketball hire right; the program is in dire need of an infusion of energy.

• Fresno State is one of the better jobs open outside the power-six conferences. Various camps have sent feelers connected to the following coaches: Montana's Wayne Tinkle; former Arizona State and Ole Miss coach Rob Evans, who was most recently on John Pelphrey's staff at Arkansas; and Minnesota Timberwolves assistant Reggie Theus. Each would be a quality hire if the Bulldogs decide to go in any of these directions.

• Wyoming would love to get Old Dominion's Blaine Taylor for its coaching vacancy, but he's not going from one of the best jobs in the Colonial to one of the worst in the Mountain West. Wyoming also wouldn't have minded getting Utah State's Stew Morrill, another coach who won't move to Laramie.

Andy Katz | email

ESPN Senior Writer


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