Mizzou Basketball: Time for Tigers to Make a Change

Mizzou basketball - Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Mizzou basketball - Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

Mizzou basketball has had a rough go of it over the past few seasons. It’s been tough being a fan of the program during that time, but hopefully a change is on the horizon.

There’s a huge amount of love that goes into being a sports fan. One can spend months of their life following the every move of people they will never meet.

When it’s all over, that person may have grown to love the team like a part of their own family. That’s a special feeling that I really can only remember from a few times in my own life.

One of those times centered around the Mizzou Tigers basketball team in 2011 – 2012.

A little context,  that season marked the Tigers’ final year in the Big 12 Conference and was also the final year in black and gold for guys like Kim English, Marcus Denmon, and Ricardo Ratliffe.

As you may remember, that was the year that Mizzou basketball owned the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City and just came up short to KU basketball for tying for the regular season title.  Unfortunately, that was also the same season that the Tigers lost to Norfolk State as a two-seed in the NCAA Tournament in what has to be one of the most soul-crushing defeats ever.

Unfortunately, no one could foresee the circumstances that awaited Anderson when taking the Mizzou head coaching job.

Remembering the fun of that season makes the current state of the Missouri Tigers basketball program that much harder to bear.

Not only have the Tigers not had a winning record in the three years since Kim Anderson took over the program, they haven’t even had a road win! In fact, during Kim Anderson’s tenure, Mizzou is sporting a putrid 8-41 record in SEC play. That’s a winning record of .183 if you’re curious.

Was Kim Anderson really the right choice?

I must admit that I was a huge fan of the decision to hire Kim Anderson initially. First and foremost, he’s an alumni of the Missouri basketball program and a Sedalia native to boot.

Because of that, he definitely has a passion for the school and was never going to view this as a stepping stone job. That’s not even including his history as an assistant coach under Norm Stewart.

Also, Anderson proved to be a quality coach at the Division II level, even leading the UCM Mules to a National Championship in 2014. The optimist in me saw no reason why he couldn’t do the same thing for the Tigers.

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Unfortunately, no one could foresee the circumstances that awaited Anderson when taking the Mizzou head coaching job. A combination of NCAA sanctions and a lack of recruiting from the Haith era left Anderson with few reliable players.

Not to mention the rash of racial tensions exploding in Columbia last season. After three years, Anderson’s tenure has been marked by two things. Simply put, a consistency of losing both games and players to transfers.

When does Missouri basketball need to make a change?

One has to wonder just how much longer Athletic Director Jim Sterk will give Anderson to turn things around, especially when considering that Anderson was hired by the predecessor of Sterk’s predecessor, Mike Alden.

Mizzou faithful were allowed a brief window of joy this month with the victories over Arkansas and Vanderbilt. With a difficult schedule still to come including matchups with Kentucky, Tennessee and Ole Miss, odds of Missouri seeing further success are eroding.

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With the season winding down, fans likely should shift their focus to the future of Missouri basketball. It’s never too early to begin dreaming about the perfect candidate.

Perhaps Mark Gottfried now that he’s parted ways with NC State could be an option (Link courtesy of Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated). That is unless Kim Anderson leads the Tigers on a miraculous run to victory in the SEC Tournament next month. If that’s the case, then expect casting for the role of Anderson in the Disney movie to begin shortly thereafter.