Kim Anderson has been asked to step down as the head coach at Missouri.
“This decision has been very difficult for me personally because of the tremendous respect I have for Kim,” Missouri AD Jim Sterk said in a statement. “I know how hard he and his staff have worked to turn the program around over the last three years, however, the lack of on-court success has resulted in a significant drop in interest surrounding our program, and we could not afford for that to continue another year.”
He is expected to coach the team during the SEC tournament.
This decision is not much of a surprise, as Anderson’s Missouri teams have not had any success in his three seasons at the helm. They lost at least 20 games every year, including a 7-23 mark in 2016-17. Anderson is 26-67 and 8-46 in the SEC in his three years with the Tigers, and he never won a road game as the Missouri head coach. Anderson inherited NCAA violations stemming from the Frank Haith era, as his program was docked two scholarships and two official visits during his tenure. There is currently an ongoing investigation into academic fraud among a number of sports on the campus.
Missouri has already started in on the process of finding a replacement for Anderson, and they will be hiring Daniel Parker’s search firm, according to sources.
The obvious target for the Tigers is California head coach Cuonzo Martin. Martin is a native of Saint Louis that had quite a bit of success at Missouri State before taking over at Tennessee. Another name that will be tied to the Missouri opening is Lorenzo Romar, the head coach at Washington Romar is the godfather of Michael Porter Jr., a potential No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft. Porter’s father was hired by Romar as an assistant coach this season, and prior to moving to Seattle, the family had spent years in Columbia, Missouri. Porter Jr.’s aunt, Robin Pingeton, is the head coach of the Missouri women’s team, and the two eldest children in the Porter family play on the Missouri women’s team.
Missouri is an interesting job. There is a talent base to recruit from — Otto Porter, Michael Porter Jr., Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum, Roosevelt Jones, Alec Burks, Patrick McCaw and Ben McLemore are all from Missouri — and there is a fan base there that cares about basketball. It’s also in the SEC, a league where finishing in the top three is never all that far away. That could be enough to draw the interest people currently at another job: Baylor’s Scott Drew, Virginia Tech’s Buzz Williams and USC’s Andy Enfield are among the names that sources have linked to Missouri. Oklahoma State’s Brad Underwood, who has the Cowboys headed to the NCAA tournament, is another interesting name, mainly because he’s severely underpaid by OSU.