Another '09 Prospect Emerges for Mizzou

There has been plenty of talk recently about the Missouri basketball program's seemingly vast recruiting options in the Class of 2009, and has another scoop on another prospect the Tigers are eyeballing.

St. Louis big man Richard Anderson, a 6-foot-8, 230-pound post player with vast upside, has been hearing from Mizzou and will likely be making a trip to Columbia this summer, according to Leon Threat, coach of St. Louis Elite.

"They saw him play at a couple of high school games and they want me to bring him down there for a visit. We were going to go to their elite camp but I injured my back and we weren't able to make it," Threat said. "My plan is to get him out there before the end of the summer."

Anderson, who is getting interest from Mizzou, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Saint Louis, Virginia Tech and Murray State, is a physical low-post banger who averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks as a sophomore at Beaumont High. These numbers are especially impressive when you consider he didn't play organized basketball until eighth grade, and only recently has started to understand the talent he has.

He had always been a football player and only came out for basketball because so many people kept telling him he should.

"He got off to a late start … His freshman year he didn't even want to go out for the basketball team. He didn't work too hard because he didn't care too much for the sport," Threat said.

But that has changed. Anderson has been in the gym constantly, working on his perimeter skills – his jumpshot needs work, but you can't teach his sort of size and physicality. And he might not be done growing.

After hurting his index finger, "He had an X-ray and the doctor said his growth plates are not closed. They're expecting him to get to 6-10, which is how tall his father was," Threat said.

Should his game continue to grow, meantime, college coaches have said that he'll be a serious prospect. He performed well in a couple of head-to-head match-ups against highly touted Lafayette '09 standout Tyler Griffey, Threat said.
"They say if he keeps [improving] the way he is, they expect him to be a high-major prospect. But a lot of that depends on how hard he works," he said.

"He doesn't shy away from contact and he's got pretty good footwork under the basket. He also has good court vision for a big guy and is a good passer out of the post. And he's physical," Threat said.

Off the court, though, Anderson seems a bit shy – or perhaps unaccustomed to receiving a lot of attention for his basketball skills. He also said he hasn't looked into any schools or thought a lot about what he's looking for in a school.

"I haven't really looked at any specific schools as of now," he said. "I haven't really thought about it."

He did say, though, that he'd like to play in a running system like MU's, and he's looking forward to his visit to Columbia.

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