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Anderson putting Missouri behind him, going forward at Pittsburg State

Anderson putting Missouri behind him, going forward at Pittsburg State

January 14th, 2018 by Jason Strickland in Mizzou Sports

Pittsburg State coach Kim Anderson cheers on his team during Thursday's game against Lincoln at Jason Gym.

Photo by Mark Wilson /News Tribune.

Kim Anderson isn't doing his job in front of 10,000-plus people anymore. He doesn't have a dozen assistant coaches. There aren't weekly meetings with the media or postgame press conferences. And there aren't any NCAA sanctions hindering his progress.

The outside noise is gone. Anderson's new gig at Pittsburg State is allowing him to do what he does best: coach.

"Less other stuff that you have to do when you're at the Power 5 level," Anderson said following a 75-70 loss to Lincoln on Thursday at Jason Gym. "Being able to work with the guys a little bit more. Quite candidly, it's not quite as demanding as it is at the Power 5 level. I still don't like to lose. Coaching is coaching, though. Obviously the players aren't as good. You're not as big and you're usually not as strong and all that stuff. I think it's a great level. The kids are really appreciative."

Anderson is pushing away the negative. The Gorillas' loss to the Blue Tigers put their road record at 0-5 on the season, meaning Anderson still hadn't won a road contest since Feb. 26, 2014, during his last season at Central Missouri. The losing skid was 35 counting the defeats with Missouri. Anderson wasn't interested in bringing up that old topic again.

"Don't ask me that question, man," he said to a group of four Mid-Missouri media members.

But things can change quickly. That subject may not be as sour now after Pittsburg State defeated Lindenwood on Saturday in St. Charles.

The victory put the Gorillas at 10-7 and 3-5 in the MIAA, doubling last season's win total and matching the number of conference wins from a season ago. That's all well and good, but still not where Anderson wants to be. Anderson has taken a team to the top, winning the national championship with the Mules in 2014.

"Obviously we've got to get better, but I knew it would take a while," Anderson said. "But this is a great league."

Anderson would know, having coached in it for 12 seasons with the Mules. And Anderson is no stranger to Jason Gym. He's just not familiar with these Blue Tigers.

"This isn't the same Lincoln I saw when I left four years ago," Anderson said. "I told (coach John Moseley) that when he was in Pittsburg."

That meeting in December was the first time the two coached against each other, but not the first time they've met.

"I arrived at Jefferson City four years ago, and one of the first people to greet me on the road was the newly named Missouri head coach Kim Anderson," Moseley said. "I did not know coach Anderson from a hole in the wall. He has been extremely respectful of what we're trying to do with this program.

"I can tell you from his time there, when we would see him out on the road recruiting, he was always very complimentary of what we're doing."

Moseley has turned Lincoln into a winning program in the MIAA and now there's a coach in the league he can look up to in more ways than one.

"He's one of the few coaches in the league that I have to look up to physically, but he has a lot basketball-wise for a young coach like myself, trying to establish myself in this league," Moseley said. "He's accomplished so much. He's a tremendous coach and he's going to do really good things at Pittsburg State."

The Gorillas are moving right along with Anderson at the helm, and Anderson is moving forward himself.

The University of Missouri alum said he's appreciative for his three years as the head coach of the Tigers, but "that's water under the bridge. We move on. Life moves on."

"I have not seen them play once," Anderson said. " I know they are doing pretty good, but I wish them well. Every once in a while I check on the guys, you know check the stats or something. I've talked to maybe one or two of them. I've texted them maybe once or twice. It's over. Cuanzo's (Martin) their coach and I want to respect that."