COLUMBIA— The Missouri men's basketball team shared gifts last week, but coach Mike Anderson's present could come on Monday.
“Everyone tries to get someone a nice gift,” English said.
No. 9 Missouri (11-1) vs. Northern Illinois (3-6)
WHEN: 7 p.m.
WHERE: Mizzou Arena
RADIO: KTGR 100.5 FM/1580 AM
TV: KOMU TV-8
The team's player gift exchange is a tradition. Every year, players draw names and go shopping for their teammates before the Braggin’ Rights game against Illinois.
“You keep it a secret, wrap up your gifts, and take them to St. Louis,” English said.
Then, the players give the presents to the assigned teammate, and open their surprises.
“Phil (Pressey) got Marcus (Denmon) some iPhone 4 accessories,” English said.
“Matt (Pressey) got Laurence (Bowers) a PlayStation 3 game. Marcus (Denmon) got me a Jordan shirt.”
English continued to list off the names of his teammates and the gifts they received, but made no mention of anyone getting a gift for Anderson.
The coach's present, however, could be delivered on Monday. With a victory over Northern Illinois, he would get his 100th win at Missouri, and also the record for getting there in the fewest games.
“I noticed before the season he was 12 wins away actually,” English said.
Anderson won his first game as Missouri’s coach at Mizzou Arena, beating North Carolina A&T 101-80 in November of 2006. Now in his fifth season, his 100th win will likely also occur at home. Anderson's record at Missouri is 99-47, and the Tigers play their next three games on Norm Stewart Court. If Missouri wins at least one of its upcoming 14 games, Anderson will break the record. For English, the sooner the win comes, the better.
“Getting it tomorrow (Monday) around Christmas time would be a great accomplishment for him,” English said.
Currently, former Missouri coach Quin Snyder holds the record for being quickest to 100. He was 100-61 after his team beat Texas A&M in the first round of the 2004 Big 12 Tournament in Dallas. Snyder was also in his fifth season as Missouri's coach, but win No. 100 came near the end 2003-2004 season. After defeating the Aggies, Missouri lost to Kansas to fall out of the Big 12 Tournament.
Anderson's win will likely come before his team even begins Big 12 play. While English noticed his coach was close at the start of the season, he said he didn’t keep track of the wins once the Tigers started playing. After realizing it is only one game away, he says win No. 100 is a gift he will be happy to help deliver.
“I’m gonna take pride in going out there and getting that,” English said.