Not sweet on this talk
Anderson tries to stay focused
Missouri coach Mike Anderson sidestepped questions yesterday of his possible interest in going to Alabama or Georgia.
Anderson was asked during a news conference to respond to reports that he might be a candidate for coaching jobs at the two Southeastern Conference schools and to offer assurances to Missouri fans that he is staying.
His only response: "We're in the Sweet 16. We're talking about the Memphis Tigers today."
Missouri faces Memphis Thursday night in the West Regional at Glendale, Ariz.
The Birmingham (Ala.) News has reported that Anderson is one of several possible candidates to replace Mark Gottfried, the Crimson Tide coach who resigned in January.
Anderson is from Birmingham and coached four years at UAB before joining Missouri in 2006. His name also has been linked to the Georgia vacancy.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reported Sunday that Missouri's basketball success this season has earned Anderson an extra $130,000 worth of incentive payments. His base salary is $850,000.
He earned an extra $25,000 for taking the team to the NCAA Tournament and another $25,000 for winning the Big 12 Conference tournament.
The team's 83-79 second-round NCAA win over Marquette Sunday meant an additional $35,000, including $25,000 for reaching the tourney's second weekend and $10,000 for a 30-win season.
Because he's at a program not among the nation's most prominent, Smith's high profile and successful past make it easy for his name to cycle through the rumor mill when there's a vacancy with another major conference team.
Recently, the resignation of Dave Leitao at Virginia prompted speculation the Cavaliers would pursue Smith, who was raised in Maryland and has family in the area.
But Smith said yesterday he's happy at Minnesota, pleased with the direction of the program, and focused on the future.
The Gophers (22-11) lost to Texas in the first round.