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Source: Haith front-runner for Tulsa job

The Associated Press
Missouri head coach Frank Haith, left, slows down player Jabari Brown, right, as he brings the ball up court  during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Vanderbilt, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Columbia, Mo. Missouri won the game 67-64
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Missouri coach Frank Haith is in position to replace Danny Manning at Tulsa.

A person with knowledge of the situation at Tulsa says Haith is the front-runner for the job, and he traveled to the school on Thursday afternoon to discuss a possible deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because nothing had been finalized.

Haith coached at Miami (Fla.) before taking over at Missouri. He led Missouri to a 30-5 record in 2011-12 and was The Associated Press Coach of the Year. The Tigers went 23-12 this season.

Manning left Tulsa after two seasons to take over at Wake Forest. He coached the Golden Hurricane to the NCAA tournament this season.

Haith would be leaving an uncertain situation. Missouri's top scorer last season, Jabari Brown, was a senior. Brown, who had transferred to Missouri from Auburn, led the Southeastern Conference with 19.9 points per game last season. Missouri went 7-8 after the start of February, missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in six years and lost to Southern Mississippi in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.

While Missouri plays in the high-profile Southeastern Conference, Tulsa might be a more stable situation for Haith.

The Golden Hurricane went 17-16 and played in the CBI tournament two years ago. This past season, Tulsa improved to 21-13, won the Conference USA tournament and reached the NCAA tournament with a young team. Sophomore guard James Woodard was a second-team all-conference pick, and forwards Rashad Smith, Lew Evans and D'Andre Wright and guards Shaquille Harrison and Rashad Ray were sophomores who played significant roles.

The Golden Hurricane will be moving to the American Athletic Conference next season, which includes national champion Connecticut.

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