Anderson decides to stay with Missouri

Updated: April 18, 2010, 4:07 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Missouri coach Mike Anderson has decided to stay with the Tigers instead of going to Oregon after the Ducks put on a fullcourt press to lure him to the West Coast.

Anderson met with Oregon's former athletic director and lead recruiter for the search Pat Kilkenny Thursday in El Paso while Anderson was attending Nolan Richardson's golf tournament. Anderson coached under Richardson at Arkansas.

Oregon had zeroed in on Anderson as a potential replacement for Ernie Kent a month after he was fired.

"It's certainly flattering any time another university notices what your program is accomplishing and when I was approached by Oregon, I decided to listen, but it was simply with my family in mind," Anderson said in a statement Saturday night. "All that quick conversation did was reaffirm that Missouri is home to us.

"We plan on taking Tiger basketball to new heights. Oregon is a great university, but Mizzou is a special place for me and my family and I'm proud to be your basketball coach here at Mizzou."

Anderson signed a new seven-year deal last year after he rebuffed an offer from Georgia. Anderson's new deal pays him $1.55 million and Missouri athletic director Mike Alden told ESPN.com last week that the Tigers couldn't do much more than that in light of the current economic situation.

Anderson has the No. 11 rated recruiting class coming to Columbia, according to ESPNU's Scouts Inc., and enough of a core returning led by Kim English and Justin Safford that the Tigers should be one of the favorites in the Big 12 next season.

The recruiting haul includes point guard Phil Pressey of Dallas and his older brother Matt, a junior college transfer. Their father is former NBA guard and New Orleans Hornets assistant coach Paul Pressey, Anderson's former teammate and roommate at Tulsa. It also includes the nation's top-ranked junior college player, 6-foot-8 forward Ricardo Ratliffe from Central Florida Community College. He and Matt Pressey committed to Missouri the day before Anderson's Oregon interview.

Missouri went to consecutive NCAA tournaments under Anderson, the former UAB head coach, including an Elite Eight in 2009.

Oregon has made reported overtures to Gonzaga's Mark Few, Pitt's Jamie Dixon, Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Florida's Billy Donovan, Texas A&M's Mark Turgeon and Minnesota's Tubby Smith.

If the Ducks don't look toward a former NBA coach like Terry Porter or P.J. Carlesimo then former Alabama coach Mark Gottfried could be a serious player. According to sources, Gottfried has been in the discussion among Oregon officials. But there is a split among the Duck hierarchy as Kilkenny who wants to find a solid coach that might not have the star name while Nike officials want a headline name with a new arena opening next season.

Oregon is the highest-profile remaining open job.

Speakers from Alden to the state's top politician praised Anderson's work during the team's banquet Sunday. The coach received a standing ovation when introduced.

Gov. Jay Nixon, an avid basketball fan, noted how Missouri toppled Oregon twice this season: a 37-point home drubbing in early December as well as victory in keeping Anderson off the annual coaching carousel.

"It was great to be here on Dec. 5 when we defeated Oregon. And it was nice to defeat them again yesterday," Nixon said.

University of Missouri system president Gary Forsee thanked Anderson and his team for their role in lifting "the spirits of our state." From a podium overlooking the Mizzou Arena floor, he reminded Anderson of a promise he made when hired four years ago.

"We're going to hang a national championship banner in this arena," Forsee said. "And it's going to happen because of Mike Anderson."

Andy Katz is a senior college basketball writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com