Mike Anderson to Arkansas talk heating up

FAYETTEVILLE (NWAOnline.com) - Reports Friday continued to link Missouri coach Mike Anderson with the head coaching vacancy at Arkansas.

Anderson, whose Tigers lost to Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament Thursday night, just finished his fifth season at Missouri and has been considered a candidate for the Razorbacks job since former coach John Pelphrey was fired last Sunday.

Columnist Jimmie Tramel of the Tulsa World reported Friday Anderson could be introduced as Arkansas' new coach Monday, citing a source with "information from multiple people", while another source said the hire was a "possibility, but not a done deal."

Longtime Oklahoma City sportscaster Dean Blevins also said on Twitter Friday night he believed Anderson would be hired as the Razorbacks' next head coach early next week, citing a "solid source".

Anderson has continually denied any interest in leaving the Tigers program, where he is 111-57 with three NCAA Tournament appearances.

"I'm excited about what's taking place at Missouri, and I plan on being at Missouri," Anderson said following the loss to Cincinnati on Thursday. "That's the bottom line."

Anderson is believed to be one of two top candidates for the Razorbacks, along with Marquette coach Buzz Williams. Marquette beat Xavier Friday to advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Anderson would be a popular choice among Arkansas fans. The 51-year-old spent 17 seasons as an assistant coach in Fayetteville under Nolan Richardson, helping the Razorbacks to three Final Fours during that time and the 1994 national championship.

Atlanta Hawks all-star Joe Johnson, who played for Arkansas, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday he would be in favor of Anderson returning to the Razorbacks.

"I would love to see him get that head job and get the program back where it needs to be," Johnson said.