COLUMBIA — Missouri men's basketball coach Mike Anderson found himself on the defensive at the postgame press conference Thursday after his No. 13 Tigers beat Oral Roberts 81-62 at Mizzou Arena.
It was Anderson’s first time addressing the media since Monday. Since then, shots were fired during a funeral for the cousin of Missouri guard Marcus Denmon on Tuesday in Kansas City. Denmon, Anderson and several other members of the Missouri coaching staff, were at the funeral. Marion Denmon, 20, died Dec. 7 the victim of a shooting three days earlier.
On Wednesday, Missouri guard Michael Dixon was suspended indefinitely for violation of an unspecified team rule and did not play against Oral Roberts. Dixon attended Thursday’s game but sat on the Missouri bench.
After Anderson took longer than usual arriving at the press conference, reporters began immediately asking about the week’s events.
The first question for Anderson was about Dixon, and Anderson simply responded by saying “Team rules, team rules.” After another reporter asked when to expect Dixon’s return, Anderson threw up his hands, glared at the reporter and said “No. Does anyone want to talk about the game?”
Anderson did comment on Marion Denmon’s funeral, though.
“It’s just unfortunate that it happened,” Anderson said. “It was kind of sad to see that happen in a location like that. I always tell our guys every day is a blessing. For the most part, we were happy to be back.”
Anderson, assistant coach Matt Zimmerman and associate head coach Melvin Watkins were all present at the funeral.
When asked about the funeral, Marcus Denmon stumbled over his words, but was eventually able to answer questions.
“I’m trying to just put it past me, and not worry about it,” Marcus Denmon said.
After being suspended for the Vanderbilt game and playing Saturday against Presbyterian, sophomore forward John Underwood wasn’t present at Mizzou Arena for Thursday’s game.
“He has some family issues and that’s the bottom line,” Anderson said.