Best Coach

Mike Anderson

Two mediocre seasons of Mike Anderson's fast-paced basketball had Missouri Tigers fans wondering if the stink of Quin Snyder would ever come off the basketball team that Norm Stewart had made a contender. Year three for Anderson was supposed to be more of the same, with a quiet finish in the middle of the conference. But Anderson's frantic style and a roster of players ready to break out — forwards DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons and guard J.T. Tiller – finally jelled. Consistency was a problem, and fans still questioned whether Anderson was the right guy for the job, but the Tigers pulled it together at the right time. Anderson guided the running, gunning Tigers to victory over upstart Baylor University at the Big 12 Tournament Championship and ran all the way to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament (where the team fell to No. 1-seeded Connecticut). The season ended with an impressive 31-7 record, a seven-year contract extension for Anderson and the return of hope for hoops glory.

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