The Columbia Tribune posted a lengthy, substantive interview with new Mizzou head basketball coach Kim Anderson over the weekend. Steve Walentik did a good job of covering about every conceivable topic -- It's worth a read. Here are a couple of key excerpts.
First, Anderson discussed the differences in recruiting between Divisions I and II. His lack of ample D1 recruiting on his résumé was obviously on the Cons portion of the Pros & Cons list.
Q: How has it been different trying to find — at this point especially — higher-level kids?
A: It's hard. When we were at Central, we'd start earlier, but this was really the crunch time — April, May, June — because you were signing the kids that didn't go Division I for whatever reason. Now, the best ones, or at least the highest-ranked ones, are already taken. They've already signed. We've been fortunate. We're involved in some good players. There's just not the numbers. There's not as many.
For me, the recruiting is similar. I think the difference is that at this level, you're dealing a lot more with more people.
Q: You mean people around them? AAU coaches …
A: Yeah, you've got different people. Because now you're recruiting really the cream of the crop. You're recruiting the top whatever, 100 or 150. I'm not really into rankings. So those are kids who have been recruited hard, and for whatever reason they're still available. Maybe they were signed somewhere and they had a coaching change.
Anderson has yet to fill the final spot on his coaching staff. He retained Tim Fuller and Bryan Tibaldi and brought Brad Loos with him from UCM, but he's weighing a few candidates for the last vacancy.
Q: With the third assistant spot, what are the important traits? What kind of coach would you like to hire?
A: Well, I've spent a lot of time thinking about it. I've talked to four guys already. I'm probably going to talk to five or six more. I'm kind of looking for a Tim Fuller, Brad Loos. I don't just want a guy who's just a recruiter. Obviously, that's got to be a major part of his job. But I'm also looking for a guy that's a good coach, good in the community, good with the players, and I think probably the biggest decision for me is to decide when I hire this guy, do I want to hire a guy who's strong in Texas or has good Texas ties or the East Coast or the West Coast or the Midwest? I think ultimately, it's going to come down to how that shakes out, whether we hire a guy that's really good in Missouri or that's really good in another state or an area, an SEC region — a Georgia, Florida, Tennessee — places like that. I've had some great candidates. … I've interviewed about four guys on the phone. I'm going to do some more, but it's been so crazy the first couple weeks that I really haven't had time to sit down and talk to guys like I want to, and I'm hoping to be able to do that in the next week or two and maybe hire somebody in June sometime. I'll definitely hire somebody in June.
Recruiting continues for Anderson and his Tigers. He would clearly like to land one more point guard for the 2014 class, and apparently Seattle point guard (and former Washington State signee) Tramaine Isabell currently tops the list. The first month on the job was mostly great for Anderson; he still has a couple of moves to make in his second month.
(And if you're interested, governor Jay Nixon shared some thoughts on Anderson and Mizzou in the SEC with the Trib as well.)