COLUMBIA — Missouri basketball fans normally view Mike Anderson as a coach. It’s easy to forget that the leader of the men's team is a father off the court.
Saturday the Missouri women’s basketball team will host Mike Anderson's daughter Yvonne Anderson and the No. 22 Texas Longhorns in the Tigers’ first game of Big 12 Conference play. Mike Anderson says he supports his daughter's decision to play for Texas.
Texas Longhorns (11-3)
at Missouri Tigers (8-6)
WHEN: 4 p.m.
WHERE: Mizzou Arena
RADIO: KTGR/1580 AM, 100.5 FM
MU LEADERS: RaeShara Brown, 5 assists per game, 6.6 rebounds per game; Christine Flores, 15.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg; Shakara Jones, 9.5 ppg, 49 percent shooter
TEXAS LEADERS: Yvonne Anderson, 12.1 ppg, 43 percent for 3-pointers; Chassidy Fussell:, 15.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg; Kathleen Nash, 16 ppg, 8.1 rpg
Missouri has not defeated Texas since 2001. The Longhorns lead the series 9-1 entering Saturday's game. Last year, the teams played each other twice. In the first round of the 2010 Big 12 Championship, Texas narrowly defeated Missouri 64-59. After leading by a point at the half, the Tigers were unable to hang on.
"It gave her a chance to get away and grow and be Yvonne, not coach Anderson’s daughter," Mike Anderson said. "I thought that was the biggest thing. She gets to blaze her own path.
"I'm proud of her. She’s doing well in school, well on the floor. What more can you ask for? She’s growing, she’s becoming a young lady.”
Yvonne Anderson is in her third year at Texas, majoring in finance. She has found success academically in Austin, Texas, and has a 3.9 grade average. On the basketball court, the junior guard has the highest shooting percentage in her team's starting lineup this season at 52 percent and has committed the fewest turnovers with 28.
"I’m proud of her because she’s worked hard. She’s gotten acclimated to the Division I level," Mike Anderson said. "As I told her, it’s her time. I feel like she thinks she’s got the experience, so now it’s time to just go out and display that."
Mike Anderson will not be in attendance Saturday to watch his daughter play against Missouri. Instead, he will be in Boulder, Colo., where his team opens conference play against the Buffaloes. Mike Anderson did have a chance to see Yvonne play against Tennessee on his birthday in December, though.
"I hate that we lost, but I love that he actually got to come watch me play," Yvonne Anderson said.
Because Mike Anderson has an obligation to the men's team, he is only able to talk to Yvonne Anderson about once a week. But the support that the Texas junior receives from her parents is appreciated.
"I've definitely needed their support to make it away from them, just to make it through those long instances when it's just basketball and school," Yvonne Anderson said. "In Austin, I don’t have any family there, so just working through those early years, I had to get used to it."
According to her mother Marcheita Anderson, her daughter has relies on her now more than she did when she was a standout on the Hickman girls basketball team.
"She talks to me more now than when she was in high school," Mrs. Anderson said with a laugh. "I think she believes I’m smart now. I was dumb when she was at home, but now I believe she thinks I’m smart."
Marcheita Anderson had a chance to see her daughter Friday night when she invited the entire Texas team for dinner, which included an extensive menu that shaped up to be a "southern meal," according to Marcheita Anderson. One dish in particular is special for Yvonne Anderson — spaghetti with baked chicken.
"It’s my favorite because it’s kind of healthy, but also it’s exactly like my mom’s, so it reminds me of home," Yvonne Anderson said. "My teammates like it, too, so that’s great."
Because her husband coaches at Missouri and her daughter plays for Texas, Marcheita Anderson has connections to both schools. Therefore, the names on the front of the jerseys will lose some of their meaning.
"I’m always for Yvonne. That’s my baby, I carried her for nine months,” Marcheita Anderson said. "I do want Missouri to do fantastic."
Marcheita Anderson plans on wearing a burnt-orange shirt with a tiger print on it to the game on Saturday.
"I don’t wear orange until I wear it to her games," Marcheita Anderson said.