Mizzou Men’s Basketball went cold over the final eight minutes, finishing the game without a field goal in that stretch, but came up with defensive stops in the final seconds to squeak out a 59-56 victory over Western Kentucky, Saturday afternoon at Mizzou Arena.

Despite improving to 4-3, the fans that I interact with on Twitter are fed up with Kim Anderson.  While I’m assuming it’s the vocal minority, I can’t preach anymore about how the fan base needs to be patient with Anderson and this group.

For Anderson to really make a run at turning this program around, he needed to strip this program down to the bare bones.  Gone are the players who didn’t want to play for Anderson in his first two years.  Gone are the players with attitude and off-court issues.  Now, Anderson is left with a young team.  You can call it an excuse, but it’s reality.

This group is seven games into a journey that everyone inside the program understands is going to take time.  As a fan, you must take the last two years and those 19 wins and erase from you memory when it comes to judging Kim Anderson.

This is year one for Anderson.  This is year one with the players Anderson thinks can start turning the Mizzou program around.  Is he a good enough recruiter for Division I?  Is this the type of basketball to be expected from someone with only Division II coaching experience–as the radical fan base will suggest?  They may be absolutely right.

I’m not saying Anderson will lead this team to a Sweet 16 appearance in two years.  I’m not saying Anderson can’t recruit or coach on this level.  I’m just saying we can’t make a true evaluation after seven games…with his players.

Mizzou set a new season-high for rebounds in a game, outrebounding the Hilltoppers, 44-30, including 14 offensive rebounds in the win.

While the Tigers offensive woes continued, they did put on a gutsy defensive display.  In addition to winning the rebounding battle, the Tigers ended with a season high ten steals.

Mizzou shot 35% for the game, following up their 25% performance last Monday.  The team continued to miss several attempts up close which Kim Anderson called “unacceptable.”

The Tigers will continue their home stand with their fourth straight game at Mizzou Arena against Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (CT)