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Best Coach St. Louis 2009 - Mike Anderson

Readers' Choice: Tony La Russa

The joke about Mike Anderson on opposing campuses is that the University of Missouri men's basketball coach bears an uncanny resemblance to Sherman Hemsley's George Jefferson character on the '70s TV show The Jeffersons. Like his doppelganger, Anderson and his family are movin' on up in the echelon of Big 12 basketball. Last season the Tigers, led by DeMarre Carroll — the coach's nephew — won 31 games en route to the Elite Eight. To revive the sputtering program, Anderson, now entering his fourth year, employed a frantic full-court press and a tenacious playing style aptly dubbed "40 minutes of Hell" that he learned from his mentor, Arkansas' great Nolan Richardson. The strategy has worked wonders — not only did Mizzou defeat top conference foes Kansas and Texas, they spanked a Memphis team on a 27-game winning streak in a Sweet Sixteen showdown. In the off-season, Anderson spurned contract offers from Memphis and Georgia and elected to stay put in Columbia. Expect the familial success to continue next season with Anderson's son Michael Jr., a walk-on senior guard.

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