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Mizzou Basketball Coaching Search: An Ending or a Beginning

Look everybody, it's today's all-day live thread!

It seems the odds are very good that tomorrow morning, I'll either be writing a "What Painterball Means for Mizzou" post ... or a "Now the Search Begins in Earnest" post.  What we know at this point:

  1. At some point this morning, at a secret location somewhere in Florida (What? You mean we can't watch The Door all day??), Mike Alden will meet with Matt Painter to discuss, among other things, Mizzou's commitment to basketball, Missouri's recruiting base, etc.

  2. If the meeting goes well, then eyes turn to Purdue to see if they are willing and able to put together some last-second contract renegotiation figures.

  3. If Alden's meeting goes well, and if Purdue cannot come up with a relatively significant offer, it appears there's a chance that Painter could be officially announced as Missouri's new head coach by tomorrow.

As Missouri fans, we are a guarded lot; I don't think I have to remind anybody that the rug could still be pulled out from under us on this one.  But this process has moved so much further than I expected when I wrote my original Matt Painter profile (in which I said "Why would he actually come here? ... I see him using Mizzou for leverage more than I see him actually considering the job, but I'd be happy if I were wrong.") last Thursday.  It would be thoroughly disappointing if this were to fall through now, but credit still goes to Alden for moving on this like an assassin.  Purdue still has time to save the day, but by the time they realized this was a real threat, it appears Alden had made some serious inroads.  He's taken something 90% of Rock M readers initially thought was a lost cause and made it Mizzou's battle to lose.  Now he needs to close the deal.  Otherwise, this would simply be Example No. 317 of Mizzou exceeding expectations in a very disappointing manner.  (On the bright side, it would give Mizzou fans solid ammo in the "Who's the miserablest?" competition we waged last night with visiting Purdue fans...)

As I mentioned yesterday, the other good part about this is, it really does appear that we will know about Painter, one way or another, by tomorrow.  Suddenly the other potential names on the list (Shaka Smart aside) might seem a little underwhelming after getting our hopes up about Painter, but there are plenty of other good coaches to pursue if Painter indeed remains with Purdue.  It's been an interesting few days, and for all we know, it could be an interesting few more.

Or, the process could be over by noon today.  Should be an eventful day.

(And even if it's entirely uneventful, I still expect 1000+ comments.)

And by the way, while we've gotten some interesting news from all the local sources -- The Trib, the Missourian, the KC Star, the Post-Dispatch, PowerMizzou, etc. -- over the last week, major credit goes to Gabe Dearmond at PowerMizzou and Vahe Gregorian at the Post-Dispatch for seemingly having their ears closest to the ground on this one.  Those two (and Bernie Miklasz) seemed to be the first ones adding legs to the Painter-to-Mizzou story last week (they were giving it more legitimacy than I thought necessary at first), and as it turns out, they knew what they were talking about, whether Painter officially ends up in Columbia or not.

As with last week, when the Anderson rumors started becoming real, I will try to update this post with any major news after the jump.  Buckle up, I guess.