SEC Teleconference Call w/ Mizzou Coach Kim Anderson:
COLUMBIA, Mo.- On Monday morning the SEC (Southeastern Conference) held a teleconference call that included the head basketball coach of each SEC team and even Commissioner Greg Sankey. Each coach had a chance to give a rundown of what the upcoming season looks like for their program and then field questions from the media. The list was as follows in order of appearance: John Calipari (Kentucky), Kevin Stallings (Vanderbilt), newcomer Michael White (Florida), Frank Martin (South Carolina), Mark Fox (Georgia), Johnny Jones (LSU), newcomer Rick Barnes (Tennessee), Mike Anderson (Arkansas), newcomer Avery Johnson (Alabama), Bruce Pearl (Auburn), Andy Kennedy (Ole Miss), newcomer Ben Howland (Mississippi State), Kim Anderson (Missouri), and Billy Kennedy (Texas A&M).
My focus was clearly aimed at Coach Kim Anderson. The Tigers finished with an overall record of 9-23 last season and didn’t pull out a single victory against road opponents. The second-half of the season provided some encouragement for this young Tiger team moving forward though. On January 8th they beat an athletic LSU team 74-67 in OT, who went on to make some noice during the NCAA tournament. February 24th the Tigers held a young, well coached Florida squad to 52 points and a victory. To end the year, Mizzou held off a Bruce Pearl coached Auburn squad at home with a final score of 63-61. The Tigers will lose their leading scorer Jonathan Williams III at 11 ppg, who will be transferring to mid-major powerhouse Gonzaga but will bring back a promising group of young players highlighted by Montaque Gill-Caesar.
Mizzou has signed 6 players up to this point coming into next year and one of my main questions for Coach Anderson were his thoughts on this class coming in. The signees include three 3-star recruits in PG Terrance Phillips (Oak Hill Academy), SG K.J Walton (Brownsburg High School), and SG Cullen VanLeer (Pacific High School). They were also able to land a couple JuCo transfers in SG Martavian Payne and PF Russel Woods out of John A. Logan CC in St. Louis, also a Blue Springs native in PF Kevin Puryear. Coach Anderson has emphasized a “targeted” approach when it comes to recruiting focusing on drawing in recruits from the mid-west specifically.
The Tigers look to make some noise this upcoming season in an ever-improving basketball conference in the SEC. Kim Anderson is no stranger to winning as he lead UCM (University of Central Missouri) to 4 MIAA Conference Championship and most recently a NCAA D-II National Championship before he took the head coaching stint with Mizzou. If anyone can instill a winning attitude into this Tiger program and bring Mizzou basketball into the national spotlight again, it’s Coach Kim Anderson.