Missouri should part ways with head coach Kim Anderson at season’s end

The highlight of the Missouri Tigers 2016-2017 basketball season so far is a 10-point home loss to the Kentucky Wildcats.

Missouri (7-21, 2-14 SEC) is amid its third consecutive season with at least 20 losses under third-year head coach Kim Anderson. The Tigers are the first team in the history of the Southeastern Conference to accomplish this “feat.”

Before the hiring of Anderson, the Tigers had two 20-loss seasons in the 111-year history of the program.

Anderson’s contract runs through April 30, 2019. However, Missouri would be wise to part ways with him at season’s end.

No doubt Anderson inherited a mess and he’s a nice guy, but he hasn’t made measurable progress.

If Anderson is fired, the school would owe him $600,000 total for the two years remaining on his contract, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

YEAR: Record

2014-2015: 7-20 (3-15 SEC)

2015-2016: 10-21 (3-15 SEC)

2016-2017: 7-21 (2-14 SEC)


“I just watched them here fight like crazy. I’m going to say it again, that is coaching,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said of Anderson and Missouri’s scrappy effort after the Wildcats’ 72-62 win on Feb. 22. “I know it’s hard because to try to get a team to keep fighting, but what he’s done, my hats off to him.”

Here’s the problem with valuing what Calipari said in regards to Missouri — the Wildcats have never lost to the Tigers in the 10 games between the two schools.

The contests are easy victories for Calipari and the Wildcats given the current state of Missouri’s program. Furthermore, the Wildcats could go onto make a deep tournament run, but they’re not even the best team in college basketball ranked at No. 9 (Note: The Wildcats were ranked No. 11 when they played Missouri on Feb. 22.).

Here’s how bleak things have gotten in Columbia, Mo.:

  • Missouri hasn’t beaten a ranked team since knocking off No. 18 UCLA on Dec. 7, 2013, which was the same day as the football team’s first SEC championship appearance against Auburn.
  • Anderson has never won a road contest at Missouri either. Anyone still reading this story has as many road wins as Kim Anderson at Missouri: zero. The Tigers’ last road win came at Arkansas on Jan. 28, 2014. Missouri has lost 34 consecutive road games.
  • Fourteen Missouri players have de-committed, transferred or been dismissed from the team since Anderson was hired. Anderson has graduated three players: Keith Shamburger, Keanau Post and Ryan Rosburg. Only Rosburg played at Missouri for all four years of his eligilbity. Senior forward Russell Woods is set to graduate May after transferring to Missouri in 2015-2016 from John A. Logan College. Zero Missouri players have gone on to play in the NBA since Anderson was hired.
  • The Kansas City Star reported the Tigers had an average home attendance of 6,295 fans for the 2015-2016 season. It was the Tigers’ lowest since 1977-1978, when the Hearnes Center averaged 5,948 fans. The average home attendance this season is 5,986 fans using the team’s estimated actual attendance from the box scores of Missouri’s 16 home games. The capacity for Mizzou Arena is 15,061 fans.
  • Coaching decisions like allowing sophomore forward Kevin Puryear, a 27.1 percent three-point shooter, to continue to shoot from distance is frustrating. Missouri ranks 340th out of 347 teams in the country at 29.1 percent shooting from three-point range.
  • Is there a single Divison I basketball team that would hire Anderson as a head coach if and when he is fired? He coached Central Missouri for 12 seasons at the Division II level before Missouri hired him in 2014. Did any other school want to hire Anderson at the time? The Sedalia, Mo., native is a University of Missouri alumni, a former Big Eight player of the year in 1977 under Norm Stewart, won a Division II national championship at Central Missouri in 2014 and is a two-time MIAA coach of the year in 2005 and 2010. Despite Anderson’s credentials, didn’t anyone bother to think of the possible nepotism? A strong indication of a coach’s value is if other teams, schools, organization, etc. want to hire that particular coach.

Here are a few coaching candidates Missouri should pursue if Anderson is fired at season’s end:

  • The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on how California coach Cuonzo Martin could make sense at Missouri or Illinois.
  • The Post-Dispatch’s story also lists Oklahoma State coach Brad Underwood and Virginia coach Tony Bennett as other potential candidates. Bennett worked with Missouri athletics director Jim Sterk at Washington State University.
  • If the the Chicago Bulls miss the playoffs for a second consecutive season, head coach Fred Holberg could be out of a job. “The Mayor” used to coach at Iowa State in the Big 12. Missouri used to be a member of the conference.
  • Indiana head coach Tom Crean’s contract has a $4 million buyout until July 1, 2017, when it becomes $1 million. The countdown is on because someone bought the domain name

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