Bahn: There Is More to Mike Anderson as a Coach Than His Ties to the Razorbacks' Past

by Chris Bahn  on Thursday, Mar. 24, 2011 7:00 pm  

Mike Anderson was introduced as the University of Missouri's head basketball coach in 2006 and led the team to the NCAA Tournament in 2009, 2010 and 2011. (Photo by University of Missouri Athletics)

Anderson evaluated talent well enough at Missouri that he had three players named as Big 12 newcomers of the year. He brought the Tigers a school-record 31 wins in 2008-09 and their only Big 12 Tournament championship in 2008-09. Missouri’s last three years included wins in 72 percent of the Tigers’ games and three NCAA Tournament appearances.

Certainly, Anderson learned from one of the best. But he has succeeded on his own for the last nine years, something former player Blake Eddins sums up like so:

“We’re not going back to a high school reunion. We’re not just trying to relive the past,” Eddins said “We’re taking a great step into the future.”

Throw in Anderson's ties to the Razorbacks, and it is understandable why Jeff Long pursued him. Anderson is a known fit with the program, something that might have taken time to develop if a hot name (like Marquette's Buzz Williams, Purdue's Matt Painter, etc.) had been hired.

Look beyond the tie to the school when assessing the hire, though. Bringing Anderson home is more than an attempt to relive the glory days. If you want to stay in the past, I’ve got a copy of the 1994 Duke-Arkansas NCAA title game on VHS I can loan you, but while you're watching that you just might miss Anderson creating some Razorback history of his own.



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