Matt Painter, Missouri Go Separate Ways; Coaching Search Continues

Head Coach Mike Anderson seems likely to leave Missouri for the Arkansas Razorbacks, according to published reports.

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Shaka Smart: Missouri Basketball Reportedly Interested In VCU Head Coach

Shaka Smart is only just now decompressing from his VCU Rams’ improbable Final Four run in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, and now according to some early reports Missouri basketball is interested in procuring his services. With Matt Painter and Mike Anderson already off the head coaching board, Missouri AD Mike Alden is running out of chances to make a splashy hire to regain Tiger fan confidence. Smart is a seriously unproven commodity, but it doesn’t get much splashier than making the Final Four out of the 11th seed.

Shaka Smart became VCU’s head coach before the 2009 season. Since then he’s taken them to records of 27-9 and 28-12, winning the College Basketball Invitational in his first year and taking them to the Final Four in his second. Tournament success aside, that’s not significantly better than the last VCU coach and defector, Anthony Grant (who’s since gone 32-27 as head coach of Alabama.) VCU’s Final Four run is one of the most memorable in NCAA history, but it’s hard to say whether the Missouri Tigers would be able to accurately divine Shaka Smart’s value after just two seasons as a head coach.


Matt Painter, Missouri Basketball Appear To Agree On Head Coaching Vacancy

Just a week after the Missouri Tigers were left at the altar by head coach Mike Anderson, the Tigers appear to have broken up a marriage themselves, with Purdue coach Matt Painter ready to join Mizzou, according to reports from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Painter, whose first head coaching job came at Southern Illinois, has been at Purdue since 2004, replacing longtime head coach Gene Keady. Since then he’s taken them to the Sweet 16 twice, with a career record of 130-61 and 59-37 in conference.

In 2011, you’ll remember, they ran into the VCU Rams Upset Machine in the round of 32.

According to Bernie Miklasz, the Tigers and the Boilermakers have "offered essentially the same salary" for the positions, which means that Painter will have to choose based entirely on the relative merits of the jobs. Miklasz suggests that the money and the facilities are in place for the University of Missouri to run a first-rate basketball department, which only depresses me more about the state of my alma mater’s English department facilities…


Mike Anderson, Arkansas Confirm Missouri Departure

Mike Anderson and Arkansas basketball finally consummated their long-term emotional affair Wednesday night, and it turns out that the cost of converting Anderson from a permanent Missouri Tiger seeking to retire in Columbia to a return-tripper to Fayetteville and the Razorbacks was $200,000 a year over seven years. Anderson spent 17 years with Arkansas as an assistant coach under Nolan Richardson, his mentor, and will return there after nine years in the wilderness as their head coach under the terms of a seven year contract worth $15.4 million. 

After news of Anderson's dalliance with Arkansas broke following the Tigers' exit from the NCAA Tournament the University of Missouri reportedly made an offer that would have amounted to a seven year contract worth $14 million, a substantial raise over his existing contract. But according to the Post-Dispatch Anderson formally asked to consider other offers only Tuesday afternoon, after the question marks had begun bouncing around Anderson like a Matthew Lesko suit. 

Anderson, Missouri's coach since 2006, took them to the Elite Eight and won the Big 12 Conference Tournament in 2009. His career record with the Tigers stands at 111-57. 


Mike Anderson, Arkansas, And Staying In Missouri Forever

Mike Anderson's apparent decision to leave Missouri basketball to rejoin the Arkansas Razorbacks as head coach leaves Mizzou fans in a bit of a quandary, but not just because their coach—who had multiple years remaining on a contract that the Tigers and the university were willing to extend to seven years, $2 million a year—is gone for good (allegedly.) It's because he had been so vocal in his no-comments-except-I'm-staying-forever Mizzou-boostery. Here, for your seething information, are some choice Mike Anderson quotes:

On March 17, he said he was—"bottom line"—"[planning] on being at Missouri", and "excited about what's taking place" there. 

On March 13, just after Missouri was seeded 11th in the NCAA Tournament, he said, "I'm a Missouri Tiger." Which is the name, you'll recall, of Missouri's basketball team, and not Arkansas's basketball team. (They're the Razorbacks. The Arkansas Razorbacks. Which is one of a number of things that Mike Anderson didn't say he was.) 

On March 4 he was a little cagier, telling the Columbia Daily Tribune that, to paraphrase, he was there, he was talking about Kansas. He was getting ready for Kansas. That's what he wants to talk about. He's got a big game coming up, so that's... his kids are excited. Kansas, Kansas, Kansas Kansas. (Kansas, you'll remember, was a team that Missouri was about to play, and not Arkansas.)

Except for the other thing he said: "I plan on being at Missouri for a long time, retire here," he said. Which is exciting. 

So godspeed, Mike Anderson. A Missouri Tiger until the very end, which came startlingly fast. 


Mike Anderson Arkansas Razorbacks' New Head Coach, Per Report

Mike Anderson, who will come to regret having said, just last week, that "[he planned] on being at Missouri", will have to telecommute—he's leaving Missouri basketball for a head coaching job with the Arkansas Razorbacks, according to reports from multiple news outlets. Anderson was an assistant coach at Arkansas's basketball program for 17 seasons under Nolan Richardson and has been linked to their head coaching job almost constantly since then. 

The story's still lacking official word from Missouri, Arkansas, or Mike Anderson—it's a news vacuum that's led Missouri alum and Post-Dispatch writer Derrick Goold to send an open Tweet: "Dear Mike Anderson, Please end the madness. Make a call. Heck, text it. Tweet. Change your Facebook status. Something. Thanks, Mizzou alum."

But so far, nothing doing. Anderson hasn't given tweet one to a hungry Missouri fanbase, and meanwhile every news outlet in Arkansas is rushing to out-scoop the other, providing more and more pseudo-confirmation as the hours pass. Pretty soon one of them is going to announce that Mike Anderson hasn't just signed his contract, he also coached Arkansas all last season. 

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