Even though Mike Anderson has left his position as the head coach of the men's basketball team at Missouri for Arkansas, it's clear that he not only holds fond memories of his five season as Mizzou's coach, but he's also still rooting for them. The Tigers have taken off under new head coach Frank Haith, who came over from the University of Miami (Fl.), and Anderson is still referring to the Tigers with personal pronouns and pronouncements of hope. In fact, he says that he and Haith were old pals who were together when Haith was hired.
"People realize that we're friends and buddies," Anderson said. "When he got the call we were together, so it goes deeper than a lot of people think. When I went to Missouri, the program was at a certain level. I think I did my job because they were able to bring someone else in and the program is now one of the best in the country. I had the program where we wanted it."
Now as the Tigers are a potential No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament, he's rooting for his former recruits and players.
"Those kids are part of my family. They will be for the rest of my life," Anderson said. "Obviously they were hurt and even when you talk about some of the fans. Why? When I got there, there was not a lot of empathy about the program. Now there are feelings about it and I understand that. But I'm so excited for those guys. They're going to do great things."
Anderson has the Arkansas Razorbacks at 17-10 and possibly headed for a tournament bid of their own. It could be interesting if the teams face each other but especially next year when Mizzou joins the SEC.