Time for Missouri to execute backup plan

Missouri needs to go to its backup plan in its coaching search

after Matt Painter’s decision to stay at Purdue.

Mike Anderson left the Tigers last week to take the job at

Arkansas.

Missouri had offered a package worth about $2 million to keep

Anderson and to lure Painter, the three-time Big Ten coach of the

year, who ended up with an eight-year extension to stay put in West

Lafayette, Ind.

Despite losing out on Painter, Missouri remains an attractive

job.

Depending on who transfers, Anderson’s replacement could have 10

returning players from a running, pressing team that was among the

highest scoring schools in the country.

Junior guard Marcus Denmon was among the Big 12’s best guards

with a 16.9-point average and four others who averaged in double

figures have eligibility remaining.

The Tigers made the NCAA tournament in Anderson’s last three

seasons, including an Elite Eight appearance, rising from the mess

at the end of the Quin Snyder era. The three-year total of 77 wins,

padded by easy early season wins, is the best in school

history.

Among Missouri’s selling points is its status as undisputed top

dog in the state.

Junior guard Kim English urged calm on Twitter.

”Mizzou fans relax,” English said on Englishscope24. ”We will

be ok. We will have a coach, and he’s gonna help lead us to great

things. Be patient, it’ll all wrk out.”

Missouri athletic director Mike Alden has been quiet since the

start of the search, and did not return a telephone message from

the AP.

A person to watch is Ben Jacobson, who led Northern Iowa to

three straight Missouri Valley titles before last season. Jacobson

would be considered that conference’s best Xs and Os man even if

Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin was still at Missouri State.

A potential in-state candidate could be Kim Anderson, Norm

Stewart’s former right-hand man, who’s been a big success at

Division II Central Missouri State. Anderson has a .746 winning

percentage, going 185-63, including five seasons of 24 or more

wins.