Jake Anderson averaged double figure points all four years of his college career. Does that surprise you a bit?All year, coaches appreciated and fans applauded his toughness and determination. At 6-foot-2, he led a Big 12 team in rebounding. Every night out, he got the toughest defensive match-up and it was normally a small forward. Jordan Hamilton of Texas, then Mike Singletary of Tech, then Khris Middleton of A&M. Mix in a few possessions shadowing Jacob Pullen. And, of course, he also got minutes defending power forwards – a half-foot or more taller – on occasion. We so often marveled about his defensive tenacity. It was easy to overlook his scoring. But the former MAC Freshman-of-the-Year at Northern Illinois left Cyclone fans with a lasting memory Wednesday. Anderson and fellow senior Diante Garrett carried their mates to the finish line in the Big 12 Championship opening round before getting nipped at the tape by Colorado. Anderson tallied a career-high 33 points (he had 32 as a sophomore against Chicago State). Yesterday, he hit on a collection of lunging lay-ups, three pointers and short jumpers. But, it’s most appropriate to salute Anderson’s overall game as he departs. Rather than point to his defense, marvel at his rebounding or tout the offensive output in his last college game, let’s salute the total player. In four seasons of college ball, Anderson led his club in scoring twice (freshman and sophomore), in rebounding twice (sophomore and senior) and in assists twice (freshman and junior). Find another player who can make that claim. Thanks, Jake. We won’t forget your contributions. We’ll just wish we had you one more season.
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