The coaching obits
I would wager that it’s not all about the wins ... but it’s about winning more than nine games per season.
All that losing has turned games into non-events. Accurate attendance figures are not kept, but in the last few years, Mizzou Arena often has been less than one-third full. In his statement about Anderson’s dismissal, Sterk referenced a “significant drop in interest surrounding our program, and we could not afford for that to continue another year.”
Sterk wanted to find a reason to keep Anderson, but there just weren’t any obvious signs of progress or hope. Had Anderson developed an overlooked prospect into an emerging star or even signed a transformative recruit — say, Michael Porter Jr. — it might have made a difference.
Alas, the opposite of faith, it turns out, is “not doubt, but certainty,” as author Anne Lamott put it.
For one reason or another, certainty finally prevailed.
With no discernible traction on the court beyond the fact that no one could ever say his teams quit, Anderson’s future was untenable.
The change had to be made, and soon it will be time to enjoy the excitement of what’s next … if Sterk can make his first major hire at Missouri one that reverberates.
Nobody really knows how exactly Missouri ended up hiring Kim Anderson. We don’t know for sure who made the ultimate choice. But Mike Alden had three chances to hire Anderson and he didn’t do it. Did Alden somehow have an epiphany in 2014 and decide this was the time he was finally ready to hand over the reigns to one of Norm Stewart’s loyal lieutenants? It’s possible. It isn’t all that likely.
Either way, Alden was the man that stood at the podium and claimed that he had scoured the country and decided the best man for the job was a man who had been a candidate thrice rejected in the previous 16 years. Even better, Mizzou paid a search firm $75,000 to hire a guy 75 miles away who everyone in America knew would have dropped everything to ride his bike from Warrensburg to Columbia to take the job.
Actually, let’s go to another social media reaction:
Us vs. Seth Greenberg
Anyone to speak ill in anyway regarding Kim Anderson is so wrong. Inherited an impossible situation. Coached & carried himself with class.— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) March 5, 2017
He inherited no such damn thing. https://t.co/S65fUYZkl3— Rock M Nation (@RockMNation) March 6, 2017
Low-continuity roster? Yes. NCAA specter? Definitely. That would explain a year or two of slow growth.— Rock M Nation (@RockMNation) March 6, 2017
Mizzou has won 26 games in 3 years.
Anderson's own signees left. Player development was minimal. Awful close-game record. Haith left him some issues. He created more. Sorry.— Rock M Nation (@RockMNation) March 6, 2017
It's hard to be happy that Anderson failed--it would have been a fantastic story. But ... *he* failed! This isn't hard!— Rock M Nation (@RockMNation) March 6, 2017
Impossible! You’d think that this was Baylor after Dave Bliss or something.
(Scott Drew’s win percentage over his first three years of inheriting that actually impossible situation, by the way: 0.284. Kim Anderson’s: 0.280.)
Or as Gabe Dearmond, put it...
The hot lists
If you to create a Top 5 Most Likely list based on the hot lists and rumors we’ve seen so far, it would look something like this. (It would also change five times by tomorrow, obviously.)
1. Tom Crean, Indiana
2. Cuonzo Martin, California
3. Chris Holtmann, Butler
4. Brad Underwood, Oklahoma State
5. Gregg Marshall
Speaking of Marshall ... unrealistic? Of course. But if you’re wanting to keep a glimmer of hope alive, this quote is exactly what you want to see.
Well, I'm flattered. It's very humbling to hear that, but -- and I don't know. I really don't have a crystal ball. I don't know how all that's going to play out. I could easily retire at Wichita State, if they will have me. My contract says I'll be there at least another seven years. But we don't stick our head in the sand either. That's just the way we've always done it.
The nice thing about having success and doing it the right way with quality young people is when you have opportunities. If you are -- if you want to listen -- and we do -- then we see how that goes. But right now we're in a great place. We're in a great place. It's a win-win.
My family's very happy in Wichita. At some point, I want to retire and have a beach house. We'll invite you down, kick it a little bit. But until then, I'm going to coach wherever they'll have me and try to do it the right way and win and do it with quality young people.
Finally, you’re a damn jerk, Ben Hochman.
Hypothetical - what if Danny Manning was a hot coaching commodity ... is there any way Mizzou would consider him?— Benjamin Hochman (@hochman) March 5, 2017