Update: Power Mizzou reports Missouri is closing in on hiring Dennis Gates, pending approval of the Board of Curators.

Mizzou appears to have a top target for its next men’s basketball head coach. Late Friday night, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported that MU is targeting Cleveland State’s Dennis Gates. Thamel wrote, “A deal isn’t done, and there’s still administrative steps to take, but sources said there’s clear mutual interest between both parties.” Saturday, fellow ESPN reporter Jeff Borzello added that Gates to MU is “expected to progress” over the coming days.

Gates, who turned 42 in January, was hired by Cleveland State for his first head coaching job in 2019. He arrived after 8 years as an assistant at Florida State. The Seminoles made the NCAA Tournament 4 times while Gates was on staff (2012, 2017, 2018, 2019). Gates was part of the staff that guided FSU to back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances (2018-19) and a trip to the Elite 8 in 2018.

Gates’ record at Cleveland State is 50-40. In the Horizon League, Cleveland State won the 2021 tournament championship and 2022 regular-season title. The Vikings made the NCAA Tournament last year.

Thamel notes that Georgia and Florida were interested in Gates before making their hires. UGA was the first SEC program to fill its vacancy, hiring Mike White from UF. On Friday, Florida announced the hiring of former San Francisco coach Todd Golden. South Carolina and LSU have also shown interest in Gates, per Thamel.