MU introduces Haith to fans

The Maneater published this article on April 5, 2011

Head men's basketball coach Frank Haith speaks to the media and members of the MU administration on Tuesday morning at Mizzou Arena. Haith laid out his goals for his new team and expressed excitement for being chosen as the new head coach. (Photo: Nick Agro/Senior Staff Photographer)

The Frank Haith Era has officially begun at MU. Haith, who was officially named Missouri’s men’s basketball coach Monday night, was introduced to the public at a news conference Tuesday morning.

“It’s truly an honor to be here with you today,” Haith said. “I feel like I’m the luckiest man in the world. I have felt the passion already and that’s why I’m here.”

In his first meeting with the players early Tuesday morning, Haith stressed the importance of family and relationships.

“Yesterday was the toughest day I’ve had, because I had to tell those guys in Miami that I was no longer going to be their coach,” Haith said. “So, I know what [the Missouri players] felt when Mike [Anderson] told them that he was leaving for Arkansas. But I told them, I’m not going to be Mike Anderson, I’m going to be Frank Haith.”

Haith also told the players that he intends to pick up where Mike Anderson left off in terms of building the program, but that they have to buy into his system to be successful.

“What he did here for five years, he’s taken this program to be very competitive nationally,” Haith said. “We have great, great people along with really good players. We will win here. We will win big and that was expressed in that meeting this morning with these guys. We want to win and we want to win big. We talked about how that happens, the commitment they have to make, and I think they understand that.”

With a record of 129-101 at Miami over his seven seasons at head coach, Haith’s hiring drew some harsh criticism. Despite the backlash from many of the fans, Haith said he was actually encouraged by their reaction.

“I don’t look at the negativity I’m hearing so far as a negative, I look at it as a positive because that’s why I’m here,” Haith said. “That’s what I want. I want that passion because I want to win. I want to cut down nets. I am not taking it the way you think I should take it. I take it as a positive. I’m excited about doing that here. I’m excited about what we have here to get that done.”

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Coaching search continues as Painter sticks with Purdue

The Maneater published this article on March 30, 2011

Matt Painter will not be the next head coach of the Missouri men’s basketball team. After meeting with Missouri officials in Orlando on Tuesday, the 40-year-old three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year award winner opted to sign an 8-year extension with Purdue.

“At the end of the day, my heart is at Purdue, and this is a place where I want to win a national championship,” Painter said in a statement Wednesday.

Painter’s new contract extension will keep him with his alma mater through the 2018-2019 season.

Other terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“We are thrilled to announce that Matt will continue his leadership of our men’s basketball program at his alma mater,” Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke said in a press release on the school’s athletic website. “He has been at the helm of the winningest four-year period in the storied history of Boilermaker basketball, and we pledge to work with him to win championships.”

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Purdue works to keep Painter as Missouri makes its case

The Maneater published this article on March 29, 2011

Mike Alden and the search committee made its case to Painter in Orlando Tuesday afternoon. Alden has asked Painter to make a decision by noon on Wednesday.

After days of speculation that Missouri was making its final push to bring in Matt Painter to replace Mike Anderson as its men’s basketball coach, Purdue finally made its move to retain their coach Tuesday.

“Last night the board of trustees, President (France) Córdova, and (Athletic Director) Morgan Burke clearly demonstrated Purdue University’s commitment to him and to our men’s basketball program,” Purdue assistant athletic director Tom Schott said in a teleconference Tuesday morning. “We are proactive and while we will not go into details at this time, we have encouraged Matt Painter to stay through our words and actions. We want Matt to remain a Boilermaker.”

Schott’s statement comes a day after Athletic Director Mike Alden and members of his staff traveled to Orlando to meet with Painter and negotiate a potential move to Columbia.

Schott declined to comment when asked why Purdue has waited to make its pitch to Painter.

It is considered a common courtesy among universities to seek permission before negotiating with another team’s coach. It is still unclear if Missouri sought permission to speak with Painter, but Schott said he has no reason to believe MU is handling the situation less than professionally.

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Anderson out: Missouri coach leaves for Arkansas

The Maneater published this article on March 23, 2011

Maneater File photo

Check out my story on Bleacher Report on why it’s absurd to pay Mike Anderson over $2 million.

I also wrote a recap of Anderson’s time at Mizzou and the recent coaching saga for Bleacher Report.

Mike Anderson was officially named the men’s basketball coach at the University of Arkansas Wednesday evening, ending weeks of speculation. Anderson, who spent the first 17 years of his career as an assistant under Nolan Richardson at Arkansas, formally requested permission to speak with Arkansas athletic department officials Wednesday morning.

“At 12:30 today, the chancellor’s office and myself, we visited with Coach Anderson on a conference call and at that time Coach Anderson asked us directly for permission to talk to another institution,” Missouri athletic director Mike Alden said. “We granted that permission at about 1 o’clock this afternoon…I met with Coach Anderson at 6:45 today in his office and he informed me at that time that he would be resigning his position at the University of Missouri as our head men’s basketball coach.”

Arkansas is bringing in Anderson in the hopes that he can re-invigorate a program that has recently fallen on hard times.

“Under Mike’s leadership, I am confident the Razorbacks will be successful in the future on and off the court,” Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said. “The decision to hire Mike Anderson as head coach is based on my firm belief that he is the right person to lead the Razorback program today and in the years to come.”

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Tiger road woes continue with loss to Wildcats

The Maneater published this article on February 27, 2011

Senior Jacob Pullen put up 24 points to lead the Kansas State Wildcats to an 80-70 victory over the Missouri Tigers on Saturday afternoon. Pullen had 11 points just four minutes into the game to eclipse the 2,000-point mark for his career.

The loss is Missouri’s sixth conference road loss of the season.

“I thought we had a lot of mental mistakes as a team,” junior guard Marcus Denmon said. “We did a lot of things you can’t do on the road to win. We feel it was something that was in our control but we let it slip away.”

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Poor free throw shooting dooms Tigers against Aggies

The Maneater published this article on January 15, 2011

Texas A&M sophomore Khris Middleton accumulated 11 points in overtime, helping the No. 13 Aggies knock off the No. 13 Missouri Tigers, 91-89. The loss was the third of the season for the Tigers, who are now 1-2 in Big 12 play.

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