Everything's coming up Kim
Time to start the next chapter in my life...#Mizzou— Q (@TekiHWBT) August 3, 2014
Since his hire in April, Anderson has kept Gant & Wright on board, signed Allen, Isabell & Gill-Caesar and landed Hawaii transfer Shamburger— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) August 2, 2014
I've found myself thinking a lot about timing as Kim Anderson has the best summer ever.
A Missouri head coach opening meant basically two things: somebody was going to call for Mike Alden to be fired, and we were going to argue about Kim Anderson. He only interviewed in 1999 and 2014, but we argued about him in 2006 and 2011, too. But through each of those checkpoints, while we argued about the same merits or lack thereof -- Xs and Os! Can't recruit! Won't ever leave us! Never been a Division 1 coach! NORRRRRRRM! -- Anderson was quietly plugging along and becoming a better coach. At the same time, the Missouri job was getting better.
If Anderson had been hired in 1999, fresh off of Norm's retirement, this really would have been a "Norm 2.0" situation. He'd have been working from the same recruiting relationships he and Norm had in the late-1990s (which, locally, really wasn't very good). He'd have been working with the Norm roster, he probably wouldn't have landed Kareem Rush, and for all we know, Clarence Gilbert and Keyon Dooling were both serious when they said they were considering transferring. He'd have been a first-time head coach thrown into a rebuild.
In 2006, he had only been head coach at UCM for four years and hadn't made it past the second round of the Division II tournament. And in 2006, Missouri was a damn mess. He could have retained Melvin Watkins (as Mike Anderson did) for recruiting help, but that would have only gotten him so far. He again would have been thrown into a rebuild.
2011 would have been interesting. By this point, Anderson had been to the D2 final four twice and tournament five times (though he had fallen to 18-11 and missed the tourney in 2010-11), and Mike Anderson had left the cupboard stocked, albeit with soon-to-expire goods. There was no hotshot recruiting assistant to retain, but he could have at least hit the ground running with a good product on the field.
And in 2014, the timing was perfect. After a mediocre run at UCM -- missing the tourney twice and exiting in the first round in 2013 -- he rebuilt on the fly and won the national title. Meanwhile, Frank Haith not only left but left suddenly, which left Tim Fuller in the lurch and looking for a job. Anderson, after hearing for 15 years (at least) that he couldn't recruit at a Division 1 level, put together a pretty incredible plan for overcoming this perceived weakness. In Fuller and Rob Fulford, he hired two assistants with both strong pedigrees and solid recruiting backgrounds; not only that, but they had deep connections to immediately available talent. Fuller helped Anderson retain Jakeenan Gant, and Fulford had Teki Gill-Caesar. In between, Anderson went out to L.A. and retained Namon Wright.
Anderson has been up for the job, to say the least. And he has had about the best summer a new coach could have, not only in finding recruiting success but in immediately succeeding in the area so many of us were skeptical about (recruiting success). He had a well-developed plan, and he executed it, and his hires have immediately paid off. It's been incredible to watch, especially as an Anderson skeptic of sorts. I made sarcastic remarks about his name coming up in the first place because I didn't think Mizzou would consider him. And I've long subscribed to the "the downside would be 13 Matt Rowans" line of thinking. He still has to prove he can coach, but if he proves his strengths as well as he disproves his weaknesses, this should be a lot of fun. Hell of a three months, Coach.
Hey Mizzou Fans help Stec win a bet with his wife and get him to 1000 followers! RT and follow go do it for @Coach_Stec #tigers #mizzou— Evan Boehm 7⃣7⃣ (@BIGboehmTHEORY) August 2, 2014
200 RTS and I'll get a haircut like @vanillaice pic.twitter.com/nniyKVgEVk— Paul Adams (@Paul_Adams74) August 2, 2014
Adams is at 215 RTs, and Stec's at 1,367 followers, so ... well done, Twitter?
You can admit you're jealous. RT @RallyBabysMom: @SBN_BillC just got a pair of orange suede shoes. I'm speechless. pic.twitter.com/Txd7Sr4cN2— Bill Connelly (@SBN_BillC) August 2, 2014