Anderson Slimmer, Trimmer, Better

While scolded for his lack of defense in Sunday's 75-70 loss to Oregon, Ron Anderson was still one of Kansas State's shining stars with 12 points, five rebounds, an assist and two steals.

Dominique Sutton playfully points to Ron Anderson and says, "That's baby Beasley."

The Wildcat center shies away from such a comparison to Michael Beasley, but he's more than willing to do his share in replacing a portion of his 26 points and 12 rebounds.

"This team doesn't have a presence like Mike or Bill (Walker) and they are certainly missed. But all of us learned lessons from those two that will help us this year," said Anderson, who is coming off his best game of the year with 12 points and 5 rebounds in a 75-70 loss to Oregon.

"No matter if we were up 10 or down 20, they played the game the same way with one goal in mind. They had an unbelievable competitiveness to win."

Anderson, whose father, Ron Sr., played 10 years of NBA ball from 1984-94, was a late arriver to the K-State camp last year, which meant that he missed the summer of strength and conditioning drills.

When the Upper Marlboro, Md., native did show up, it was with a jiggle.

"I was 285 or 290 and totally out of shape," he said with a reflective chuckle. "I dreaded running ... I couldn't stand the thought. Now I love to run. I look forward to it every day. I never imagined it, but I have Frank (Martin) and his staff to thank for that."

Anderson plays an inside position that goes baseline to baseline, but says, "I take pride in trying to beat the guards down the court. If I can do that, it's going to open up our offense."

That staff Anderson mentioned includes strength coach Scott Greenawalt, who has spent the last 12 months reshaping Anderson's 6-foot-8 frame.

"We've changed all that fat to muscle," said Greenawalt. "He's at around 255, but we added 22 pounds of muscle and he lost about 10 percent of body fat (26 percent to 15.7 percent). That's pretty good in one year."

For Anderson, it was out with the junk food and fatty meats ... BBQ and chicken wings ... and in with the more lean meats. Plus, Greenawalt said, "He really bought in to conditioning and preparing himself to be successful."

Now it's up to Anderson to blend that preparation with the opportunity to be one of K-State's prime time players.

"He has to improve in certain areas," Martin said. "He has to be a lot more consistent defensively and rebounding the basketball on the defensive side of the floor."

Anderson, who teamed with current Wildcat teammates Dominique Sutton and Jamar Samuels on the DC Assault, had a shining moment in the NCAA Tournament when he scored 10 points and 8 rebounds against USC. Overall, he averaged 3.3 points and 3.6 rebounds while playing an average of 12 minutes per game.

"I'm better now," Anderson stated. "That first year it took me until halfway through to understand what the college game was like. Now I'm used to certain types of defenses and I'm trying to be a leader on the court."


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