In a fanpost that I wrote a while ago -- that I can't seem to find anywhere -- I lauded Mike Alden for hiring coaches with character. At the time, Anderson had just kicked some players off the team who had been trouble, and the team was not doing well. But I remembered when both Gary Pinkel and Brian Smith had gone through tough times, but because Mizzou had stuck by them, we were rewarded with some great teams. I had hoped that we would do the same with Mike Anderson and basketball, because in the long run, it doesn't matter if a coach has the best record in the world if the program has no character.
I bring this up today because the payoff has started to come our way. In just a few seasons as coach, Anderson has turned the team into the playing machine he envisioned. It took some bumps, and shedding some players along the way, but now, we are Big 12 Champs. Not only that, our players graduate from college, and have good grades. They are, by all accounts, good kids.
I'd like to see Mizzou win it all. I'd like to see us win a national championship, and I'd like to dance in the streets of Chicago if it happens, laughing at all the Big Ten apologizers. But if it doesn't, I will still be proud and wear my Mizzou gear. Why? Because our coaches and athletes have character, and that, more than any other reason, is why it's a great time to be a Tiger.