Missouri’s basketball coaching search has obviously already begun, but technically Mizzou still has a coach — Kim Anderson remains on the job until the Tigers’ next loss.
That might or might not come tonight when Mizzou and Auburn tip off in the SEC Tournament.
Barring an unexpected run through the SEC bracket, Anderson’s final game will take place in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena. His time left on the job will be up to his players. The winner of Wednesday’s 8 p.m. Missouri-Auburn rematch advances to play No. 6 seed Ole Miss (19-12) Thursday night. [...]
Under Pearl, like Anderson in his third year on the job, Auburn won three games as the No. 13 seed in 2015 and reached the semifinals. Last year, Auburn was also the 13 seed and lost to Tennessee in the first round.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of emotional edge Mizzou has. There have been plenty of instances where a “Win it for Coach!” sentiment powers a team to an upset — the first example that comes to mind for me: Iowa State’s 2006 football win over Mizzou in Dan McCarney’s last game — and it could be an advantage for the Tigers.
“I know Missouri will be ready to go, obviously, with the emotion of playing for coach Anderson,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said Monday on the SEC men’s basketball teleconference.
Or the mentally exhausted Tigers will bow out quietly. We’ll see.
Meanwhile, the coaching search indeed persists. The Trib’s Daniel Jones has an update, PowerMizzou has a couple of updates, the Post-Dispatch’s Ben Frederickson has some questions, and athletic director Jim Sterk answered some questions at Tiger Talk.
Sterk believes Anderson helped set up the next coach by bringing some stability to the program in terms of academics and discipline issues.
“I think it really helps,” he said. “Mizzou basketball has been successful. I saw the fact we’ve been in postseason six of the last nine years. It’s been the last three that we haven’t. The short-term memory is not there. Long-term, people know that this a great program, people that have seen it in the Big 12 and in the SEC. This is a program that people felt could be in the top third of the SEC. I certainly believe it. That’s where we’re headed. We need to find the person to lead us there. Kim did a great job leading us to this point.”
Meanwhile, our Sam Snelling talked to Brandon Kiley about why Kim Anderson didn’t work out and why Tom Crean should be the pick.
It still feels like Crean is a solid betting favorite at this point. But we know that those narratives can shift, and when they do, they shift in a millisecond.
- 11 in a row! Mizzou Baseball pummeled Eastern Illinois, 10-1, to move to 11-1 on the season. Bryce Montes De Oca pitched five innings and gave up only three hits and two walks, Brett Bond went 5-for-5, Robbie Glendinning hit his first home run of the season, and Trey Harris drove in four.
- MONDAY NIGHT SELECTION SHOW WATCH PARTY.
- Speaking of women’s hoops, somehow former head coach Joann Rutherford wasn’t yet in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Better late than never.
- Mizzou Softball: still ranked. Juuuuust barely.
- On Tuesday, Mizzou’s Lauren Reedy and Kyle Goodwin each qualified for a second event at the NCAA diving championships. Meanwhile, Mizzou Swimming & Diving coaches talked about the SEC championships:
- Aspen Tucker: SEC gymnastics freshman of the week.