Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Speculation about Anderson's Future with Mizzou Is Prevalent

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Speculation about Anderson's Future with Mizzou Is Prevalent

Article excerpt

COLUMBIA, MO. * With just three games left in Kim Anderson's second season, it's natural to wonder if the Missouri basketball coach will return for a third year. With 19 wins in two seasons and a boss who didn't hire him, Anderson's job security has been a lingering question for weeks.

This week, Anderson said it's fair to ask if he's concerned about his job status. He said he's "had discussions" with athletics director Mack Rhoades about next year.

"But I talk to Mack a lot," said Anderson, who has three years left on his Mizzou contract. "That's probably a fair question. As far as me, every coach is coaching for his job every day. The only day I felt like I was really safe was the day after we won the national championship at Central Missouri (in 2014). I thought, 'You know what, I'm OK today.' Then tomorrow you've got to go back to work again. I think that's the nature of a lot of coaches."

This much Anderson knows: His team, at 10-18, is better than it's been. Coming off two road losses to Arkansas and Ole Miss, the Tigers, in last place in the Southeastern Conference at 3-12, couldn't extend momentum from a two-game winning streak over Tennessee and South Carolina and now host No. 21 Texas A&M for the season's penultimate home game.

After Saturday's 3 p.m. tip against the Aggies (21-7, 10-5), the Tigers play at Louisiana State on Tuesday, then host Florida in next Saturday's season finale. Mizzou self-imposed a postseason ban as part of its investigation into NCAA violations that occurred under former coach Frank Haith, meaning the Tigers won't play in next month's SEC tournament.

"I think we're more consistent than we were," Anderson said Thursday. "You guys might dispute this, but I think we're a much better basketball team than we were three weeks ago. We're still not great but we're more consistent than we were three weeks ago. I think we're light years more consistent than we were a year ago."

Even though the Tigers have discarded junior guard Wes Clark, the team's most experienced backcourt player, Anderson believes Missouri has improved offensively, not just from last season but since the team's midseason lull. Some statistical progress is subtle, but after scoring just 60.5 points a game last year, MU is up to 68.4. The Tigers are still among the country's worst 3-point shooting teams, but they're coming off a season-best outing at Ole Miss, where they made 12 3-pointers and shot 52.6 percent from behind the arc.

While senior forward Ryan Rosburg's late-season surge has slowed some foul trouble left him on the bench for long stretches the last two games sophomore guards Tramaine Isabell and Namon Wright have picked up the scoring slack of late. Both had season scoring highs against the Rebels with 17 and 20 points, respectively.

The Tigers expected Wright to become a consistent perimeter threat this year, but a lengthy shooting slump coincided with the team's nine-game losing streak. …

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