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Missouri's Anderson Makes Return to Tulsa

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Originally Published: Dec 9, 2009 3:37 PM CDT

Kyle Dierking
Oklahoma Sports Reporter

TULSA, Oklahoma - When Missouri coach Mike Anderson comes back to Tulsa, the memories start flooding his mind.

"To me, it's kind of like when it all started," said Anderson, the Missouri Tigers basketball coach. "We came from nowhere."

Anderson's referring to TU's 1981 NIT Championship team. The legendary Nolan Richardson was the coach; Anderson was a key component on the Golden Hurricane's title team.

"We were averaging 95-96 points per game, so it seemed like coach Richardson was light years ahead of time because of the up tempo basketball," said Anderson, who was an assistant coach under Richardson at Arkansas.

It was actually at the Mabee Center where Anderson's college basketball career ended - a loss in the 1982 NCAA Tournament to Houston. Not many could stop the 40 minutes of hell TU teams in the early 80's, but the Cougars squad that won by four points could be described as a who's who of college basketball.

"(Hakeem) Olajuwon, (Clyde) Drexler, (Larry) Micheaux," Anderson said. "It is special to come back here and play. There are a lot of memories in this place - some good, some not so good."

But Anderson says he's not playing history teacher with his team before they take the floor tonight. As he puts it, he's here to manage and coach his basketball team.

"I'm a has-been is what I tell them. It's history is what took place," Anderson said. "I always tell the guys, 'let's draw on those experiences that I've had.'"

With a smile and still a decent shot by the looks of things, Anderson probably can't help but reel in the years.

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