By Bryan Stauffer
Cal Poly Pomona’s preseason All-American Mitchel Anderson looks to lead the men’s basketball team back to the promise land as the 2013 season is set to get underway on Nov. 8 against Whittier.
Anderson, the only remaining member of the Broncos’ 2010 national championship team, has averaged 11.1 points per game throughout his career and has helped CPP reach the playoffs every year since he was a freshman.
This year, the goal is no different as Anderson has high expectations for himself and his team.
“I feel last year I had a pretty good year, so I’m hoping to follow it up,” said Anderson. “For the team, we have a lot of new players and inexperienced players that haven’t played the last year, but we are working hard.”
Although Anderson enters the 2013 season with one of the highest honors a collegiate athlete can receive, he said he has remained the same humble individual.
“You can’t let it get to you,” said Anderson. “It’s only pre-season right now, so you can’t let it get to your head or put pressure on you. With the players, they’ll joke around with me … and tease me about it, but I’m still the same me.”
Just as any athlete loves his or her beloved sport, Anderson said he has always enjoyed playing basketball.
However, his involvement in the game has also been a way for him to escape reality and focus on his true passion.
“It’s just fun,” said Anderson. “I use it as an out. When you play basketball, nothing else matters. It’s just focusing on the moment. It’s fun being competitive. The competition, the winning, it’s all worth it.”
With his experience on the court and his experience in competitive situations, Anderson looks at himself as a leader for a Broncos unit that boasts only two seniors.
“I have the most experience and most offense,” said Anderson. “I’ve been through it, like the championships and stuff. I know what it takes and all that, so I’ve just got to be real positive about that.”
Head coach Greg Kamansky said Anderson’s veteran presence will play just as big a role as his statistics this season.
“He’s really the last guy that’s been through the national championship years,” said Kamansky. “He brings that winning mentality” he’s been through the wars, he’s played against the best in the country, been on a national stage and he just brings that steady veteran leadership.”
Kamansky said although Anderson excelled and exceeded expectations during the Broncos’ championship run in 2010, he has really matured into the superstar-caliber player that he showed glimpses of his freshman year.
“I am so impressed how far along he has come as a player, both physically and mentally,” said Kamansky. “He’s not even close to the player he was his freshman year, although he had a solid freshman year.”
But surprisingly enough, Kamansky thinks the best is yet to come.
“I just want him to maximize his potential as a basketball player, whatever that may be,” said Kamansky. “No one knows what that is right now, but every day in practice I’m kind of like, ‘Wow, he’s good.'”
Third-year guard and roommate of Anderson Terrence Drisdom said Anderson is as cool off the court, as he is on the court.
“He’s a great teammate,” said Drisdom. “He doesn’t bring you down. He’ll be honest with you and stuff like that, and he’ll tell you when you need to pick it up.”
The Broncos expect the preseason All-American to lead the team to success.
Drisdom summed up his importance best.
“When he’s rolling, we’re all rolling,” said Drisdom.
Tiana Teague/The Poly Post
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