Xavier’s Chris Mack, Dayton’s Archie Miller haven’t been contacted by Missouri

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04/24/2014 4:32 PM

05/16/2014 1:24 PM

The list of potential men’s basketball coaching candidates Missouri hasn’t contacted and, thus, presumably won’t succeed Frank Haith, continued to grow Thursday.

Meanwhile, the only known candidate for the MU job remains Central Missouri coach Kim Anderson.

On Thursday, The Star learned that Xavier men’s basketball coach Chris Mack has not been contacted about the vacancy at Missouri.

“Chris is happy at Xavier,” a source close to Mack told The Star.

Also on Thursday, Dayton confirmed that it has not been contacted by Missouri or any third party about Archie Miller’s interest in the Tigers’ vacancy.

Previously this week, Texas-El Paso’s Tim Floyd and Purdue’s Matt Painter dropped off the list of potential candidates.

So, once again, the search circles back to Anderson, who led the Mules to the NCAA Division II championship last month and first surfaced as a candidate Monday.

A mutual interest has been well-established and permission has been granted by Central Missouri for Missouri athletic director Mike Alden to interview Anderson, who starred for the Tigers from 1973-77 under Norm Stewart and later served as an assistant coach under Stewart for 11 seasons during two stints.

Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall, who was expected to be a prime target, wasn’t contacted by Missouri through Wednesday. He attended the Shockers’ basketball banquet Thursday night.

Of course after several days with no contact, it seems increasingly unlikely Marshall will be the Tigers’ next coach, which begs the question who else might be on the radar to replace Haith after he abruptly left for Tulsa last Friday.

Former Pittsburgh and UCLA coach Ben Howland might be in the mix. He seems to be a popular choice on message boards and social media, but it’s unclear what interest Missouri might have in Howland, who did not coach anywhere last season.

Howland’s camp also has been silent after he missed out on the Marquette job earlier this month.

If history provides any instruction, another option for MU might be a candidate few are considering.

Three years ago, speculation swirling around that Missouri coaching search centered on Purdue’s Matt Painter and, when he turned down the job, Haith emerged from deep in the field of candidates and became the Tigers’ 17th coach.

A coach such as Richmond’s Chris Mooney, whose services were very much in demand three years ago after the Spiders reached the NCAA Sweet 16, fits the under-the-radar description.

Mooney, 41, signed a 10-year contract after that season, in which the Spiders won 29 games. But they haven’t returned to the NCAA Tournament since, finishing 19-14 last season and 8-8 in the Atlantic 10.

Mack, 44, and Miller, 35, would have been strong candidates as both are fast-rising stars.

During five seasons under Mack, the Musketeers are 111-57 and have reached the NCAA Tournament each year, including Sweet 16 appearances in 2010 and 2012.

Mack was born in Cleveland, but he grew up in Cincinnati, where Xavier is located, and played two seasons for the Musketeers.

He spent two seasons on the Xavier staff under Skip Prosser as the director of basketball operations then joined Prosser’s staff as an assistant coach for three season before returning to Xavier.

He served the next five seasons on Sean Miller’s staff with the Musketeers before his promotion when Miller, who is Archie’s brother, became the head coach at Arizona.

Mack turned down the head coaching job at California earlier this month after Mike Montgomery retired, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Meanwhile, Archie Miller led the Flyers to the Elite Eight in his third season last month. Dayton knocked off in-state foe Ohio State, Syracuse and Stanford before losing to Southeastern Conference champion Florida.

During the season, Miller signed a contract extension through 2018-19.

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