After a day spent discussing the Matt Painter-Missouri situation with a variety of people, here's what we know.
I don't know if this is news or not at this point, but we have independently confirmed that Purdue's coach has been contacted by Missouri and it has been made known that he's the primary target in their search for a successor to Mike Anderson, who took the Arkansas job.
We know via sources - is it even necessary to say that anymore?; everything comes from a source, right? - around Missouri that it's looking to move quickly, hoping to have a coach lined up by the Final Four at the latest. Some indications have been that there's hope - and merely that at this point - that something could go down in the next few days.
If that were to materialize, you'd think it would be Painter, being that by all accounts he's been Priority No. 1, with Mizzou maybe even being willing to offer a salary of around $2.5 million annually.
That would be a significant raise from his Purdue salary, which guarantees Painter $1.3 million, with bonus potential to earn upwards of $2 million, though that would be a lot of bonuses. Painter's hit a lot of incentives the last couple years; in an average year, we'd suggest Painter's compensation to be around $1.5 million.
But what doesn't stand to reason with the 72-hour-or-so time frame on a Missouri announcement is that Painter has not yet even set foot in Columbia, at least as far as we know, as part of this courtship. You'd think that would be an important part of the process; not necessarily a mandatory one, but an important one.
Painter is in Orlando on a vacation with his family. Thursday he was in West Lafayette. Wednesday he was as well, as the team had its end-of-season meetings that day. Those were regularly scheduled meetings.
It is early in this process, but one thing is very clear, though: There is enough smoke here to suggest there is fire and that the possibility that Purdue will be looking for a new basketball coach is a real one.
There is extreme confidence being conveyed from the Missouri end of all this and whereas most coaching searches are kept under wraps, it certainly seems like there's been no shortage of information coming out about what the Tiger athletic department is trying to do here. This would seem to be beyond the point of this being a school floating names to recruit through the media or simply appease fans by swinging for the fences.
There have also been multiple indications that the Missouri job is one that Painter has held in high regard well prior to Mike Anderson's departure to Arkansas. The one tie, however loose it may seem, we can find here is Southern Illinois athletic director Mario Moccia. Painter had left SIU by the time Moccia became A.D. in Carbondale, but Moccia prior served as senior associate athletic director at Missouri.
While fans may argue all day long comparing one job to another, there's something here that's a real draw.
We are getting way ahead of ourselves here, but should Painter depart, we can safely report that Missouri State coach Cuonzo Martin is in the loop on all that's going on between Painter and Missouri, not just because he's been considered a candidate at Mizzou himself, but more importantly because Purdue would be a job the ex-Boilermaker star and current coach of the MVC champion Bears would covet.
One interesting tie, there: Painter and Martin share the same agent, Buddy Baker.
That's all for now. Could be an eventful week.
Or it can turn out to be nothing.
It would appear, though, that we'll know by next weekend.
This post was edited on 3/26 11:45 PM by Brian_GoldandBlack.com