Missouri Tigers' Coach Mike Anderson: We Will Win a National Championship

Alex RuppenthalContributor IApril 16, 2008

You wouldn't expect Missouri's basketball team to be throwing the words "National Championship" around right now. 

Not after rival Kansas captured its third national title just a week-and-a-half ago. Not after a 16-15 season in which the Tigers waited until the end of January to win a game outside the state of Missouri. Not after the Stefhon Hannah incident that resulted in the suspension of five players and the dismissal of Hannah.

Mike Anderson, however, proclaimed that Missouri "will win a National Championship" at Missouri's Basketball Banquet Tuesday night at the lovely Holiday Inn Select in Columbia, Mo.

Among the other head-scratchers include Tiger superfan and basketball announcer Gary Link who told Matt Lawrence that Lawrence "outkicked the coverage" because he brought an attractive date to the banquet.

Before giving his speech, Associate Head Coach Melvin Watkins made it a point to thank his wife for her support because he wanted "some sugar" (shu-gah) later that night.

Watkins also wished outgoing seniors luck for when they become "fathers and mothers," quickly correcting himself by adding, "that's for your hunnies, too."

There were actually a few awards handed out, despite all the awkward moments. Leo Lyons won Most Improved Player and took home Anderson's Most Outstanding Player award along with DeMarre Carroll.

J.T. Tiller won the Iron Tiger Award for outstanding effort and performance in strength training. Jason Horton claimed the Tiger Assist Award for leading Missouri in assists.

The funny thing is the outgoing senior averaged just 3.3 dimes a game. Anderson gave Keon Lawrence the award (if you can call it that) for most turnovers, which Lawrence justified by stating that he played the most minutes.

There were a handful of other awards, none of which mean much to anyone outside the Tiger team.

It was odd to see Matt Lawrence and Leo Lyons chuckling with their dates while Anderson closed the event with his final speech.

The to-be-seniors, seated in front of and below Anderson, must've not realized that everyone in attendance was looking right at them as Anderson's words went in one ear and out the other.

Maybe, though, it was just a fitting end to a joke of a season.


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