Arkansas and Missouri may be the only two major programs in the country that would duke it out for Mike Anderson's services. Just look at what happened to Anderson's tigers this past season. They finished 8 and 8 in league play and lost 5 out of their last 6, including a one and done trip to the NCAA Tournament. Mike's record against the "Kentucky of the Big 12," Kansas, is just 1 and 9. Those are not hot coaching prospect numbers.
So why are the Tigers and Hogs willing to do battle in such a public way for Coach A ? Just look at the big picture at both schools. Before hiring Mike, they didn't have 40 minutes of hell at Missouri . No, it was more like 2 years of hell for Missouri basketball. It took Mike two years to clean up the mess Quin Snyder left. In season three, Mike's Tigers won 31 games and made to the Elite 8. He's followed that with back to back 23 win seasons and two more trips to the NCAA Tournament,and has assembled a talented young team that looks poised to continue that success.
Then there's Arkansas. Let's start with the style of play. Both Stan Heath and John Pelphrey promised a fast paced,up tempo style of play, but neither delivered. Anderson guarantees a return to 40 minutes of hell. Just look at Arkansas, UAB and Missouri, when coached by Anderson, they all played the same way. Anderson has a system he believes in and recruits players who fit his style. He's a coach who would instantly fill those empty seats at Bud Walton
Arena. Like or not, apathy has set in with a lot of fans. Hog hoop games are no longer must attend events. The only time I can compare it to is the end of the Danny Ford era. I can remember the U.A. contacting me before one Little Rock football game, asking me how many kids football teams I could get to fill the endzone seats. Great deal for kids, bad business for the U of A.
Mike knows Arkansas . He spent 17 years in Fayetteville and knows exactly what it takes to build a consistent winner at Arkansas. The ball is in Mike's court. He can try to take a program that he's called home for the past 5 years to new heights, or he can return to the place where he established his reputation as a coach,and attempt to return it to national prominence.
I like Mike !!! How about you?