Seasoned college hoop fans might have a flashback when they watch Missouri play Clemson in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at HSBC Arena. The Tigers play a frantic, pressing style and never back off -- much like Nolan Richardson's Arkansas teams did during the "40 Minutes of Hell" days in the 1990s.
It's no coincidence. Mike Anderson, the Missouri coach, played for Richardson at Tulsa and was an assistant coach for him at Tulsa and Arkansas. Anderson employs the same basic style, though he has tweaked it over the years and doesn't play at such an unrelenting pace as Arkansas did under his mentor. Arkansas averaged 94 points a game when it won the NCAA title in 1994.
"I always tell our players, he's the grandfather of what we do," Anderson said during interviews early Thursday afternoon. "It's 40 minutes of Hell, the fastest 40 minutes in basketball."
Anderson said he speaks with Richardson frequently. He said Nolan stops by to watch the Tigers practice on occasion. Of course, Richardson is a little busy these days. He's the subject of a book that was recently released, entitled "Forty Minutes of Hell." Richardson is the coach of the Tulsa Shock of the WNBA, which begins training camp next month. The Shock recently signed Marion Jones, the disgraced Olympic track star who played point guard for North Carolina years ago.
"I got a copy of his book," Anderson said. "My daughter wants me to get it autographed."
--- Jerry Sullivan