On Wednesday evening, the news that Mike Anderson is leaving Missouri to take the Arkansas job became official. This is hardly earth-shattering news, that Anderson is going home.
There are a couple of story lines in this development that require elucidation.
In retrospect, it appears that Anderson might have known for quite some time that he was going home to Arkansas. It's also clear that he might not have been entirely upfront with the Missouri fan base, among others, with recent statements about wanting to retire at Missouri.
It seems that he lost his team the second half of the season, a development that is viewed more clearly when seen in the context of this pending move.
Recent developments have convinced me that I was wrong about the former Missouri coach. He did not turn out to be the coach or person that I thought he was or wrote about.
The other story line here is the current state of the Missouri basketball program.
Mike Alden will have to hire a new coach, and we'll get into that later. We don't really know which Missouri players will return.
Will Phil Pressey follow Uncle Mike to Arkansas? What about brother Matt? Several of the Missouri players expressed a "We'll be fine," attitude, in the face of Anderson's departure.
As of tonight, it appears as though Phil Pressey will head to Arkansas with Anderson.
But, Missouri doesn't have anyone signed for the incoming class. How many scholarships will the new coach have immediately available, to add players to what is likely to be a senior-laden team, in 2011-2012? There's a sort of musical chairs in recruiting that will take place between now and the beginning of the late-signing period, which is April 13th. Missouri needs to move quickly to hire a new coach, to allow their man a chance to pull in some talent with which to work.
During Mike Alden's press conference, he described the next basketball coach as, "someone who wants to be at Mizzou".
Let the search begin.