Mizzou Targeting 3 Candidates Including Shaka

Earlier today Matt Painter decided to no longer pursue the basketball coaching job at Missouri and stay at Purdue.

Shaka Smart

(Snappy Mizzou Ensemble? Check)

After Painter pulled himself out of consideration for the Mizzou job, which he was never offered, a Univ. of Missouri athletic department staffer told me Painter strung out the school until today - asking for a midday extension. With that extra time, Painter apparently went back to Purdue to get raises for assistants.

When he finally broke the news to Mizzou that he was withdrawing from the process, Painter told school officials that two family members not wishing to move was a factor in his decision to stay at Purdue.

So where does Missouri go from here?

I’m told that school athletic director Mike Alden plans to interview candidates for the job at the Final Four this weekend in Houston. I’ve confirmed VCU coach Shaka Smart as Mizzou’s top target for the job but Smart will not talk to Missouri until VCU’s season has concluded in Houston.

Meantime, I’m told Alden is likely to also reach out to Richmond’s Chris Mooney and Tulsa’s Doug Wojcik - and their agents - while in Houston for possible interviews. Smart, for now, is Mizzou’s top target with the school prepared to offer him between $1.7M-to-$2M per season plus incentives.

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