College basketball coaches come and go.
Some leave a lasting impact. Some make a temporary stop. But Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk seemingly wants to give men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin a permanent home.
During a news conference Sterk held Tuesday evening prior to the Tigers’ game against Ole Miss, he expressed his excitement and gratitude for what Martin has done this season.
“Men’s basketball obviously has a great résumé,” Sterk said. “What coach has done, the turnaround of our program from when he came four years ago, is significant.”
Missouri has spent the past 11 weeks in the AP Top 25. The Tigers were ranked as high as No. 10 this season. They have collected six Quadrant 1 wins, which only eight other teams can say. Martin has banked on the development of his upperclassmen and their experience this season, and it’s paid off.
With his best season since his first as coach of the Tigers, it might be time Martin gets paid.
“He’s done a heck of a job,” Sterk said. “It’s that time in the contract where you start to look at, ‘OK, Cuonzo what’s important to you? Let’s talk.’ And he wants to be here. He’s building a program. He wants to be the last team standing sometime and I think he has a great opportunity to do that here and we want him to do that. So we’re excited about the future and his leadership.”
Martin is in the fourth year of his seven-year contract. With the season he’s had, it might be time to have that discussion with Martin before other college programs do.
Rumors recently have surfaced that should Miami coach Jim Larrañaga step down, the Hurricanes reportedly would show interest in Martin as their next head coach, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dave Matter.
Saturday's Tigers-Aggies game postponed
Only one regular-season game remains scheduled for Missouri after Wednesday’s postponement of its Saturday game against Texas A&M because of COVID-19 issues within the Aggies program.
The possibility of rescheduling a game against LSU, Vanderbilt or Texas A&M remains a possibility for the final week, most likely March 6, prior to the Southeastern Conference tournament.
Missouri is scheduled next to play next Wednesday at Florida.