The revitalization of the University of Missouri basketball program can be attributed to the efrorts of one man -- coach Mike Anderson. In 2006 he took a scandal-ridden program that was the object of widespread ridicule and brought the team a few made three-pointers away from its first Final Four appearance.
As the country's NCAA coaching consciousness is focused on John Calipari's possible move to Kentucky, chatter surrounding Anderson's future is also quietly heating up.
If Calipari takes the Kentucky job, Anderson is expected to be atop Memphis' wish list.
From the Kansas City Star:
"Although there is speculation that Memphis would turn to MU coach Mike Anderson to fill its opening, The Star has previously reported that Missouri officials are working on a contract extension for Anderson believed to be worth $1.3 million per year for five seasons.
"Furthermore, David Reiter, Missouri associate director of media relations, told The Star on Monday afternoon that Memphis has neither asked for nor received permission from Missouri to speak with Anderson."
Meanwhile, Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch urges Mizzou to do what it takes to keep Anderson in Columbia. He makes a compelling argument in today's column:
"It's officially time for Missouri's power brokers to rip up his old contract, eliminate all those post-Quin Snyder clauses that surely made him feel like he was serving detention for someone else's sins, and come up with a contract that rewards Anderson for restoring Mizzou basketball to its former glory.
"What is it worth to have a coach who sold out your brand-new basketball arena, turned the team into a conference champ, won a school-record 31 games and led the Tigers to the Elite Eight? What is it worth to the school to have a coach who not only transformed the program on the court but off it as well?"