''I would like every kid from Kansas City to St. Louis to be thinking about playing for Missouri." - Quin Snyder, 1999.
Current Mizzou head basketball coach Mike Anderson also understands that the state borders need to be shored up and has done a great job securing in-state talent. In the 3 full years Anderson has had to recruit he has signed arguably the top three rated players out of the Kansas City area. Those three players, sophomores Marcus Denmon and Steve Moore and freshman Michael Dixon, should all see significant time on the floor this season.
However Anderson knows that you cannot win with in-state talent alone and that to be a national powerhouse, you need to recruit throughout the nation.
That is why he spends time recruiting outside the Show-Me borders and to get athletes from every part of the country. In fact this year's roster is comprised of 13 players representing 8 states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri (4), New York and Tennessee (3). Those states embody almost every region of the country and show that Mizzou is making itself a household name throughout the country.
And now in prototypical Anderson fashion, in 2010-11 Tiger Nation will see Ricky Kreklow and Phil Pressey suit up for the Tigers. For these two verbal commitments, Anderson searched both locally and nationally to land prized student athletes.
Kreklow was the first to commit to the Tigers and won't have trouble finding Mizzou Arena. The 6'5' forward is a Columbia, MO native, whose parents coach the Mizzou volleyball team.
Kreklow recently told the Columbia Missourian that his family ties to the University of Missouri "definitely had an influence on my decision because I felt so comfortable around the school, and my parents have done a lot for me growing up. I'm just glad I have the opportunity to give them a chance to see me play in college."
Family ties didn't hurt Coach Anderson's ability to recruit Dallas, TX native Pressey either. The 5'10" point guard is the son of former NBA player and current New Orleans Hornets assistant coach Paul Pressey. While playing basketball at the University of Tulsa, the elder Pressey's teammate was a point guard by the name of Mike Anderson.
On having a connection with Coach Anderson, Phil Pressey told Gabe DeArmond at PowerMizzou.com that he committed partially "because I knew that he would look out for my best interests on and off the court."
So while it appears that every kid from Kansas City to St Louis is eager to play in Anderson's "Fastest 40 Minutes" system, high schools throughout the country are also hearing the Tiger roar.
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