October 13, 2010

Powered Up: Anderson comes alive

There is a common language among coaches. It is called CoachSpeak. And the best ones have it down to a T. Sure, there are exceptions, like Nick Saban saying on Tuesday that "This team hasn't proven (expletive)." But for the most part, coaches say the same thing in press conference after press conference and the answers they give usually don't address the questions they're asked much at all.

For four years, Mike Anderson could have written the CoachSpeak dictionary. He said pretty much the same thing week after week and at times seemed as if he'd just as soon the media never covered his team. It wasn't that he was hostile. He just didn't seem to have much use for us. And that's fine. I don't say it to insult Anderson. He's welcome to feel that way if he wants and to say (or not say) whatever he wants to the reporters that show up every time he's in front of a microphone.

Again, it's not an insult. It's just some background for the fans and a way to let you know how shocked I was on Tuesday afternoon. That is when Anderson held his introductory press conference for the 2010-11 basketball season, to tip off Tiger media day.

Over the course of 25 minutes, Anderson was candid. He made jokes. He laughed. He had others laughing. In less than half an hour, I saw more personality and ease at the podium out of Mike Anderson than I'd seen in the previous four years.

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