Missouri Tigers players react on the bench - Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri Tigers' Kim Anderson: A Return to What, Exactly?

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Kim Anderson, a “true son” of Mizzou, has been hired to bring the Missouri Tigers basketball program back to the top where it belongs.  Wait, what?

Fans and alumni throughout the “Show Me State” are throwing out words like ‘family’ and ‘tradition’ and ‘loyalty’ after the hire of Anderson.  If a Mizzou fan’s not careful, they’re likely to get swept away during this “Era of Good Feelings.”

Good or bad, Anderson will always be linked with Norm Stewart.  A lot of Mizzou fans out there will do anything to hang on to the Norm Stewart days.  Anderson was an assistant coach under Norm (twice) and some believed Anderson should have been Norm’s successor back in 2000.

No matter how badly fans want a return of “the good old days,”  there needs to be a reality check on expectations. It’s human nature to remember the past more fondly than it actually was.

For example, during the last 15 seasons under Norm Stewart, the Tigers sported a record of 316-165.  In the 15 seasons since Norm Stewart’s tenure ended, the Tigers have gone a staggeringly similar 317-180.  So one has to ask the question… Have the last 15 years really been that terrible?

Personally, I’ve said all along that Kim Anderson was the right hire if, and only if, Gregg Marshall, Shaka Smart and Archie Miller told you no.  If those three coaches weren’t even contacted, the University did the program, the fans, and the alumni, a disservice.

Hiring Kim Anderson makes a lot of people feel safe.  That’s fine.  At the end of the day, if he can’t win at this level, he’ll be treated just as badly by the fans as the last three coaches the Tigers have had.  If he doesn’t win, he will begin to feel just how unfair big-time college athletics can be.

College athletics in the BCS era have evolved into something entirely different from when Kim was assisting Norm during those good old days.

This isn’t a terrible hire by Mizzou.  But there’s no guarantee it isn’t.  This hire is going to make the fans and alumni swell with pride for a few months about getting their homegrown guy.

The Era of Good Feelings will be short lived if they don’t win.  Wins are going to keep Anderson around for more than three years.  Not the fact that he’s a true son bringing back the good old days.




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Tags: Kim Anderson Missouri Tigers Norm Stewart

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