InsideMizzou.com Update: Richard Anderson

It's been a year of upheaval for Richard Anderson. First he transferred from his home school in Beaumont to Milestone Christian in Kansas City. The basketball program there quickly disintegrated, though, so Anderson left for Nashville Christian Academy in Tennessee, where he has a newfound focus on and off the court and is attracting attention from recruiters – including Missouri's staff.


Anderson, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound power forward, recently took an unofficial visit to MU, caught a Tigers game and chatted with the staff.

"I do like Missouri, I like the way they run and get the ball up and down the floor," said Anderson, who is averaging a double-double in split time between Milestone and Nashville this season. "Coach Anderson is a great coach. He teaches them well … he just told me he likes me as a player."

Anderson has been working on polishing his offensive game; he's a late bloomer who didn't begin to take the sport seriously until of years ago. He's a real presence on the defensive end with his strength and ability to close the passing lanes – a great fit for the MU system, it would seem. But the biggest difference has been off of the court.

"I have changed my attitude," he said. "Everybody was talking to me about it, so I figured it was something I needed to work on."

Anderson has overcome obstacles in his personal life and is beginning to do the same academically. His recruitment is being handled by his AAU coach in St. Louis, Leon Threat, who has become a primary source of guidance in Anderson's life. Threat has been hearing about Anderson from schools like Illinois, Virginia tech, Georgetown and Purdue, but is keeping his recruitment in the slow lane for the time being – although he Anderson has taken an unofficial to Illinois as well.

"I think the priority right now is getting him established academically," Threat said, "because he has a good shot to qualify."

In Nashville, Anderson said, "There's not as many distractions as public school so I'm able to focus and do all my work and pull my grades up."

Once his academics are done for the year, next summer will be a big one for Anderson in terms of proving himself on a national level. He'll again play for Threat's St. Louis Elite AAU program. His biggest strength at this point is his physicality and aggressiveness. Also in a serious weight training program for the first time in his life, he's becoming even stronger than before.

"He thinks he's Superman now," Threat said, laughing, as Anderson listened. "He tends to be intimidating to other players. He doesn't back down."

Anderson said he likes Mizzou's system quite a bit and is intrigued by the possibility to playing in his home state, though he's willing to go farther from home if there's a better fit elsewhere. Threat said the Tigers stand as good a chance as anyone, and that the MU staff seems to be quite interested.

But the bottom line is, nothing definitive can be said about Anderson's recruitment until he finishes up classes this spring and begins to show his wares on the summer travel circuit. InsideMizzou.com will keep you posted with the latest, as always…

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