Mike Anderson, New Basketball Coach at MU?

KSDK NewsChannel 5 Sports in St. Louis is reporting that the University of Missouri has scheduled a press conference for Sunday to announce the hiring of former UAB head coach Mike Anderson.

After 43 days of waiting and nashing teeth, it appears that the University of Missouri will finally have a new basketball coach on Sunday.

Here is Coach Anderson's official bio from the UAB media relations department:

Now entering his fourth season as UAB's head men's basketball coach, Mike Anderson has done nothing less in his tenure with the Blazers than prove his is one of the nation's top basketball coaches. Anderson has guided UAB to three postseason appearances in as many years, including back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2004 and 2005. His three UAB teams have each won 20 or more games, been to the NIT quarterfinals, two NCAA tournament second round games and made one Sweet 16 appearance.

Not bad for three seasons.

Anderson owns an overall record of 65-34 (.657) at UAB, and was 22-11 in 2004-05 season. He also is 30-18 (.625) in Conference USA play. The Blazers went 2-1 in the 2003 NIT, made a dramatic run to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 in 2004 and advanced to the 2005 NCAA tournament second round.

The 2004 Ray Meyer Conference USA Coach of the Year, Anderson's teams are predicated on defense. Under his guidance, UAB has led the nation in steals per game in each of Anderson's three seasons - a feat accomplished by no other team in NCAA history. Anderson has engineered upsets of top-10 ranked foes on two occasions: an 83-76 win over No. 8 Marquette on March 13, 2003; and UAB's shocking upset of No. 1 Kentucky, 76-75, in the 2004 NCAA Tournament's second round.

The three straight 20-win seasons and postseason appearances for the Blazers mark the first time the program has accomplished those feats since a stretch from 1996-99.

The success Anderson has achieved at UAB has vaulted the Blazer program back into the national spotlight as one of the premier college basketball programs in the country. From the instant he took the helm, UAB basketball showed its return to national prominence.

Named the third head men's basketball coach at UAB on April 4, 2002, Anderson guided the Blazers to the best single-season improvement in school history in 2002-03. UAB finished that season with a 21-13 record overall and an 8-8 Conference USA record, which was good enough to finish second in the National Division. Anderson was one of only three Division I coaches in 2002-03 to win at least 20 games in his first year as a head coach.

Anderson not only won 21 games, but also accomplished some "firsts" in the program's history. UAB played in the C-USA championship game for the first time in school history, barely missing an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament losing to tournament host Louisville, 83-78. The Blazers entered the C-USA Tournament as a No. 9 seed. UAB defeated Charlotte in the first round, 85-61, No. 1-seeded and eighth-ranked Marquette, 83-76, and fourth-seeded Saint Louis, 63-62, to advance to the C-USA championship game.

Despite falling to the Cardinals, the Blazers did receive an NIT invitation, appearing in their first postseason since the 1998-99 campaign. Anderson directed the Blazers to a quarterfinal appearance where they fell to eventual 2003 NIT Champion St. John's.

Anderson garnered the 2004 Ray Meyer C-USA Coach-of-the-Year after guiding the Blazers to a 12-4 conference mark and a share of the league's regular season championship in his second season. The Blazers were 22-10 overall in 2003-04 and proved that they were one of the up-and-coming teams in the nation when they finished the season ranked No. 23 after posting a 22-10 record and a Sweet 16 appearance. Anderson guided the team to two victories in the NCAA tournament, including a 76-75 win over the tournament's overall No. 1 seed and traditional powerhouse, Kentucky.

The 2004-05 campaign was one many prognosticators though could be a drop off after the loss of four valuable seniors from the 2003-04 Sweet 16 club. Yet, Anderson worked his magic once again, guiding UAB to a 22-11 overall record, a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance, and another startling tournament upset. UAB spanked SEC West Champion LSU in the tournament's first round, 82-68, before falling to Arizona in the second round.

THE EARLY YEARS

Anderson was born on December 12, 1959, in Birmingham, Ala. He was an all-state and all-city guard at Jackson Olin High School. As a junior, he averaged 19 points per game and led his team to the state semifinals. A year later as a senior, Anderson again averaged 19 points per contest.

He graduated from Jackson Olin High in 1978 and enrolled at Jefferson State Junior College. As a sophomore at Jefferson JC, he faced a Western Texas team, which was coached by a young coach in the business named Nolan Richardson, in the 1980 Junior College Tournament championship game. Soon after the game, Richardson was offered the head coach position at the University of Tulsa and one of his first calls was to Anderson. After watching Anderson play, Richardson knew he needed Anderson on his team and offered him a scholarship to play basketball at Tulsa in 1981.

Anderson was a two-year starter with the Golden Hurricanes. He averaged 12 points per game and was well-known for his hard-nosed style of play. Tulsa won the NIT Championship in his first season as Anderson was selected to the all-tournament team. A year later, Anderson was an NCAA Tournament participant in his second.


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